Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Distress, a mode by which the law allows a man to minister redress to himself by distraining the goods of another for non-payment of rent or other duties, or to distrain cattle, "damage feasant," that is doing damage or trespassing upon his land. The former species of distress is for the benefit of the landlord to prevent tenants from secreting or withdrawing their effects to his prejudice. As to the latter [Damage Feasant], as a general rule, all chattels and personal effects found upon the premises may be distrained by the landlord whether they belong to the tenant, his under-tenant, or a stranger; but to this there are many exceptions, too numerous to be mentioned here. In ordinary cases the most common exception is goods entrusted to the tenant in the way of his trade - as a watch sent to a watchmaker to be repaired. The landlord's powers are chiefly regulated by an Act passed in the second year of William and Mary as amended by the "Law of Distress Amendment Act, 1888," which made applicable to all tenancies some of the provisions applicable to agricultural tenancies only by the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1883. A landlord may himself personally exercise his right of distress, but it is usual and expedient to employ a broker, who is duly appointed to the office, and exercises it under certain rules.