A mortgagee in possession must make necessary repairs,163 and he will be allowed, in his accounting, to charge for any repairs made by him which are reasonable.164 He is also allowed the expense of any improvements which are proper for the enjoyment of the premises, but not for mere ornamental improvements.165 On the other hand, he is not chargeable with an increased rental value due to improvements made by him with which he is not credited.166
158 Miller v. Lincoln, 6 Gray (Mass.) 556; Greer v. Turner, 36 Ark. 17.
159 Harper's Appeal, 64 Pa. St. 315; Morrow v. Jones, 41 Neb. 867, 60 N. W. 369. Or with what he has actually received, if he has not occupied personally. Morris v. Budlong, 78 N. Y. 543.
160 Montgomery v. Chadwick, 7 Iowa, 114; Holabird v. Burr, 17 Conn. 556; Sanders v. Wilson, 34 Vt. 318.
161 Onderdonk v. Gray, 19 N. J. Eq. 65; Daniel v. Coker, 70 Ala. 260. Cf. Whiting v. Adams, 66 Vt. 679, 30 Atl. 32.
162 Irwin v. Davidson, 3 Ired. Eq. (N. C.) 311; Millett v. Davey, 31 Beav. 470.
163 Barnett v. Nelson, 54 Iowa, 41, 6 N. W. 49; Dozier v. Mitchell, 65 Ala. 511.
164 Miller v. Curry, 124 Ind. 48, 24 N. E. 219, 374; Hicklin v. Marco, 46 Fed. 424; Sparhawk v. Wills, 5 Gray (Mass.) 423; Woodward v. Phillips, 14 Gray (Mass.) 132; Malone v. Roy, 107 Cal. 518, 40 Pac. 1040.
165 Harper's Appeal, 64 Pa. St. 315; Rowell v. Jewett, 73 Me. 365. And see American Button-hole, Overseaming & Sewing-mach. Co. v. Burlington Mut. Loan Ass'n, 68 Iowa, 326, 27 N. W. 271; Mickles v. Dillaye, 17 N. Y. 80.
166 Hagthorp v. Hook's Adm'rs, 1 Gill & J. (Md.) 270; Bell v. Mayor, etc., 10 Paige (N. Y.) 49.
When a mortgagee is in possession under a mistaken belief that he has absolute title, he will be allowed compensation for all improvements erected.167 The general rule is that the mortgagee can claim no compensation for his own services in the management of the estate.168 But in some states he is now allowed a commission for collecting the rents.169 He may employ an agent to manage the property, when necessary.170 The principal disbursements for which he may be credited are taxes and assessments;171 money paid in discharging a prior incumbrance,172 or otherwise protecting the title;173 and expenses in preserving the property, such as employing a watchman.174 He may charge for counsel fees necessarily expended in collecting the rents.175