Homestead Principle Law and Legal Definition

Homestead principle refers to a notion in law that one can gain ownership of a natural thing that currently has no owner by using it or building something out of it. Laws on this principle would grant property of land plots of certain standardized size to people who would settle on it and improve it in certain ways.

In the U.S., the Homestead Act of 1862 provided for the disposition of land for the homesteads. The Act permits any person who is above twenty one years of age or is the head of a family to acquire 160 acres of land