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99-year lease: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A 99-year lease was, under historic common law, the longest possible term of a lease of real property. It is no longer the law in most common law jurisdictions today, yet 99-year leases continue to be common as a matter of business practice and conventional wisdom.


The law

Under the traditional American common law doctrine, the 99-year term was not literal, but merely an arbitrary time span beyond the life expectancy of any possible lessee or lessor.[1][2]

In the law of several US states, a 99-year lease continues to be the longest possible contract for realty by statute, but many have enacted shorter terms and some allow infinite terms.[3]

Interestingly, the 99-year lease concept has been more common under the civil law regimes when it comes to concessions of territory: most concessions last for 99 years.

Historic examples

The British famously had a 99-year lease, or concession, to Hong Kong New Territories from China from 9 June 1898 to 1 July 1997.[4] The Guantanamo Bay Naval Base started as a 99-year lease in 1903 from the first president of Cuba to the United States.[5] The Lend-Lease program of the 1940 was enabled by 99-year lease of British bases on several islands (Gander International Airport in Newfoundland).

Notable examples


  1. ^ Mortgage News Daily web site article on a 99-year lease. Accessed 20 February 2008.
  2. ^ Cecil Adams, Why are leases made for 99-year terms?, 22 July 1977, found at The Straight Dope article on 99-year lease. Accessed 20 February 2008.
  3. ^ Law Office of James Kaklamanos web site page on 99-year lease. Accessed 20 February 2008.
  4. ^ "British History Timeline". BBC. 2005. Retrieved 21 February 2008.  
  5. ^ Olga Miranda Bravo, Vecinos Indeseables: La Base Yanqui en Guantánamo (La Habana: Editorial Ciencias Sociales, 1998).
  6. ^ Donna Winchester, Dali Museum gets 99-year lease: Its new building will go up on St. Petersburg's downtown waterfront, St. Petersburg Times, 30 November 2007. Found at Dali Museum gets 99-year lease article from St. Petersburg Times. Accessed 20 February 2008.

See also



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