The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note provides guidance on claims for ‘use and occupation’ or mesne profits, and how and when double rent or double value can be claimed.
A claim for use and occupation is possible where there is occupation of land without an express agreement fixing the amount of rent. The landlord may bring a claim to recover a reasonable rent for the land so occupied. Compensation is recovered as damages for breach of an implied agreement to pay for the use of the land.
The claim lies only if the tenant has actually entered on the premises with the landlord’s permission, not as a trespasser (in which case see Mesne profits below). The landlord must show an express or implied contract with the occupier, and they must have the legal estate (Morgell v Paul (1828) 2 Man & Ry KB 303 (not reported by LexisNexis®)). A legal title by estoppel is sufficient, eg where they have let the premises to the defendant, or where the defendant has recognised their title by payment of rent (Fisher v Marsh (1865) 6 B & S 411 (not reported by LexisNexis®)).
The level of compensation will be the rent agreed or (in the case of holding over) the rent previously payable under the tenancy.
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