Q&As

I act for an individual who granted a licence to a company for a period of 12 months over commercial premises. The arrangement has carried on for a number of years with no further agreements being entered into. The tenant is in arrears of rent and the landlord wants the premises back. The original licence contains a provision for re-entry. Can the landlord rely on the provision for re-entry to forfeit the lease despite the tenant being deemed to have acquired a periodic tenancy?

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Published on LexisPSL on 06/07/2015

The following Property Disputes Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • I act for an individual who granted a licence to a company for a period of 12 months over commercial premises. The arrangement has carried on for a number of years with no further agreements being entered into. The tenant is in arrears of rent and the landlord wants the premises back. The original licence contains a provision for re-entry. Can the landlord rely on the provision for re-entry to forfeit the lease despite the tenant being deemed to have acquired a periodic tenancy?
  • Status of occupier’s occupation
  • Forfeiting a protected tenancy

I act for an individual who granted a licence to a company for a period of 12 months over commercial premises. The arrangement has carried on for a number of years with no further agreements being entered into. The tenant is in arrears of rent and the landlord wants the premises back. The original licence contains a provision for re-entry. Can the landlord rely on the provision for re-entry to forfeit the lease despite the tenant being deemed to have acquired a periodic tenancy?

Status of occupier’s occupation

The court will look at the substance of the licence agreement to ascertain whether or not it is in fact a tenancy, regardless of whether it is termed a licence (please see our Practice Note: Using licences and tenancies at will). The existence of a forfeiture provision in a licence may in itself suggest that such an agreement is in fact a tenancy; a licensee does not have exclusive possession in a licence so there is no need for the landlord to have a right to re-enter and take back possession. Generally, a licence agreement will just have a simple clause providing that, in the event of breach, the agreement terminates and the licencee must vacate.

If an agreement termed as a licence is in fact a tenancy and it is for a fixed term of over six months,

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