Abatement Law and Legal Definition

Abatement generally refers to a lessening or reduction of something. It may refer to the removal of a problem which is contrary to public or private policy, or endangers others. For example, a municipality may serve a notice for abatement of nuisance on a landowner for weeds that might catch fire on an otherwise empty lot. Abatement may mean an equal reduction of recovery of debts by all creditors when there are insufficient funds or assets to satisfy the full amount. An abatement of a legacy is an equal reduction of benefits to beneficiaries (heirs) when an estate is not large enough to pay each beneficiary in full. An abatement of taxes is a rebate or reduction of taxes previously assessed and/or paid. In an eviction case where a landlord is seeking unpaid rent, a tenant may raise the defense that he/she is entitled to rent abatement due to uninhabitable living conditions.