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A division or partition of a rent, common, or the like, or the making it into parts. This definition seems incomplete. Apportionment frequently denotes, not division, but distribution; and in its ordinary technical sense, the distribution of one subject in proportion to another previously distributed.
Apportionment will here be considered only in relation to contracts, by talking a view, 1, of such as are purely personal and, 2, of such as relate to the realty.
When a Purely personal contract is entire and not divisible in its nature, it is manifest it cannot be apportioned; as when the subject of the contract is but one thing, and there is but one creditor and one debtor, neither can apportion the obligation without the consent of the other. In such case the creditor cannot force his debtor to pay him a part of his debt only, and leave the other part unpaid, nor can the debtor compel his creditor to receive a part only of what is due to him on account of his claim. Nor can the assignee of a part sustain an action for such part.
When there is a special contract between the parties, in general no compensation can be received unless the whole contract has been actually fulfilled. The subject of the contract being a complex event, constituted by the performance of various acts, the imperfect completion of the event, by the performance of only some of those acts, cannot, by virtue of that contract, of which it is not the subject, afford a title to the whole, or any part of the stipulated benefit.
With regard to rents, the law is different. Rents may in general be apportioned, and this may take place in several ways; first, by the act of the landlord or reversioner alone, and secondly, by statutes in the several states in which its principles have been embodied.
When there is a subsisting obligation on the part of the tenant to pay a certain rent, the reversioner may sell his estate in different parts, to as many persons as he may deem proper, and the lessee or tenant will be bound to pay to each a proportion of the rent. It is usual for the owners of the reversion to agree among themselves as to the amount which each is to receive; but when there is no agreement, the rent will be apportioned by the jury.
In Delaware, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York, it is provided by statutes, that if the tenant for life, lessor, die on the rent day, his executors may recover the whole rent; if before, a proportional part. In Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, and New York, when one is entitled to rents, depending on the life of another, he may recover them notwithstanding the death of the latter. In Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia, it is specially provided, that the hushand, after the death of his wife, may recover the rents of her lands. In Kentucky, the rent is to be apportioned when the lease is determined upon any contingency.
When the tenant is deprived of the land, as by eviction, by title paramount, or by quitting the premises with the landlord's consent, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, his obligation to pay rent ceases, as regards the current quarter or half year, or other day of payment, as the case may be. But rent which is due may be recovered.