Q&As

If a new tenant has been allowed to exclusively possess a room within a building for 12 months during lease negotiations for a new business lease (not renewal), could the landlord argue that it is not a periodic tenancy on the basis that no rent has been demanded (or paid) and no period of occupancy has been agreed? Could the landlord argue that the occupation is as a tenancy at will?

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Published on LexisPSL on 23/12/2019

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

  • If a new tenant has been allowed to exclusively possess a room within a building for 12 months during lease negotiations for a new business lease (not renewal), could the landlord argue that it is not a periodic tenancy on the basis that no rent has been demanded (or paid) and no period of occupancy has been agreed? Could the landlord argue that the occupation is as a tenancy at will?

If a new tenant has been allowed to exclusively possess a room within a building for 12 months during lease negotiations for a new business lease (not renewal), could the landlord argue that it is not a periodic tenancy on the basis that no rent has been demanded (or paid) and no period of occupancy has been agreed? Could the landlord argue that the occupation is as a tenancy at will?

Pressure to secure a new letting often leads to the suggestion of early access on the basis of a licence or tenancy at will. In ascertaining the nature of occupation in that situation, the courts will look to the substance of the agreement, not to the label that the parties have given to it. If early access is documented in an agreement that includes the ‘hallmarks’ of a lease, the result will be a lease. In Street v Mountford, the House of Lords identified

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