Q&As

If a right to occupy property has only been created orally, not in writing, can it still constitute a lease?

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Produced in partnership with Alexander Campbell of Field Court Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 07/03/2019

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Alexander Campbell of Field Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a right to occupy property has only been created orally, not in writing, can it still constitute a lease?
  • Rights of occupation
  • Rights of occupation which can be granted orally

If a right to occupy property has only been created orally, not in writing, can it still constitute a lease?

Rights of occupation

The Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925) makes certain provision in relation to conveyancing and property law in England and Wales.

LPA 1925, s 54 (which is entitled ‘Creation of interests in land by parol’) stipulates:

‘(1) All interests in land created by parol and not put in writing and signed by the persons so creating the same, or by their agents thereunto lawfully authorised in writing, have, notwithstanding any consideration having been given for the same, the force and effect of interests at will only.

(2) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Act shall affect the creation by parol of leases taking effect in possession for a term not exceeding three years (whether or not the lessee is given power to extend the term) at the best rent which can be reasonably obtained without taking a

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