Ameliorative waste refers to modifications that increase the value of property made by a tenant who failed to obtain the landowner or future interest holder’s permission. Ameliorative waste differs from permissive waste and voluntary waste, the other two forms of waste under property law, because the value of the property does not decrease.
While traditionally ameliorative waste entitled the property owner to recover the costs of reverting the change, the majority rule in the modern-day United States prevents landowners from recovering damages for waste unless the value of their property decreased.
For example, if a life estate owner on a farm destroys an out of use barn to plant more crops, the remainder owner can no longer sue for ameliorative waste in the United States because the economic value of the farm increased overall.
[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]