Hereditament is anything that can be passed by an individual to heirs. There are two types of hereditaments: corporeal and incorporeal. A corporeal hereditament is a permanent tangible object that can be seen and handled and is confined to the land. An example of a corporeal hereditament is land held in freehold. An incorporeal hereditament is an intangible right, which is not visible but is derived from real or Personal Property. Incorporeal hereditaments are hereditary titles of honour or dignity, coats of arms, pensions, annuities, rents, franchises, etc.
In England and Wales, the term is used in property taxation. A rateable hereditament is a property which fulfils the requirements to render it subject to a rating assessment. Assessments may apply to both corporeal and incorporeal hereditaments. A proper understanding of what comprises a hereditament relies on case law precedent developed over 400 years. Any decision on rateable occupation requires the existence of an hereditament, that is a physical unit capable of use or occupation or a ‘right’ to advertise, the latter being expressly mentioned in the main enabling act, the Local Government Finance Act, 1988.
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