Q&As

If an occupier of agricultural land has been cultivating it for business purposes but no rent has been paid or any formal agreement entered into, could this be deemed a periodic tenancy even though no rent has been paid?

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Published on LexisPSL on 15/02/2017

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

  • If an occupier of agricultural land has been cultivating it for business purposes but no rent has been paid or any formal agreement entered into, could this be deemed a periodic tenancy even though no rent has been paid?
  • Periodic tenancies
  • Tenancy at will

If an occupier of agricultural land has been cultivating it for business purposes but no rent has been paid or any formal agreement entered into, could this be deemed a periodic tenancy even though no rent has been paid?

In answering this question, it has been presumed that the tenant has not remained in occupation following a formal licence/tenancy. It has been assumed that the occupier is not occupying the land without authorisation and is not trespassing.

We are not aware of any authority for a situation where a tenant who has been in occupation without paying rent has successfully claimed a periodic tenancy. However, rent is not essential in order for the arrangement to constitute a tenancy (see Lynes v Snaith)—see the information on tenancies at will below.

Periodic tenancies

A periodic tenancy is a tenancy that can be created either by express agreement, by inference or by statute. If one party allows another into possession of his land on payment of rent, failing more, the inference sensibly and reasonably to be drawn is that the parties intended to create a periodic tenancy. The period of the tenancy will usually be the period by reference to which rent is reserved, rather

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