Covenant of Seisin Law and Legal Definition

Covenant of seisin refers to the title of a property, and is the principal and superior covenant to covenant for quiet enjoyment. Covenant for quiet enjoyment relates to the possession, and is considered as inferior and subordinate. In PITCHER v. LIVINGSTON, 4 Johns. 1 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1809), it was held that when a suit is brought upon both covenants, and both, in consequence of the total failure of a defendant's title and the eviction, have been broken, a plaintiff, accordingly, has a right to recover on both. However, the amount of the recovery would be the same on each, s/he must elect on which of them s/he means to rely, and take nominal damages on the other. In addition, a plaintiff is entitled to one satisfaction, wherein s/he has remedy on either of the covenants, at his/her election, to obtain it.

In an action for breach of the covenant of seisin and for quiet enjoyment, in a deed, aplaintiff can recover only the consideration money paid, with interest, and the costs in ejectment. However, s/he cannot recover damages for the improvements s/he has made, nor for the increased value of the land.