Q&As

Is a lease valid if it is missing the signature of the tenant? Would the position change if there is a subsequent deed of variation entered into (approximately nine months later) containing the signatures of all the parties including the tenant?

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Produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 04/09/2017

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is a lease valid if it is missing the signature of the tenant? Would the position change if there is a subsequent deed of variation entered into (approximately nine months later) containing the signatures of all the parties including the tenant?

Section 52 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925) is of relevance to this scenario. Section 52 provides that all conveyances of land or of any interest therein are void for the purpose of conveying or creating a legal estate unless made by deed. There are a number of exceptions contained within that section which includes a lease for a term of less than three years.

Where a document is required to be made by deed, there are a number of additional formalities which must be complied with:

  1. a deed must be in writing

  2. it must be clear from the face of the instrument that it is intended to take effect as a deed

  3. the instrument must be validly executed as a deed

  4. a deed must be delivered

This Q&A covers where the document was required to be by way of deed and met the aforementioned requirements. If it was not and it does not fall within any of the exceptions, it will not be valid. If the lease was in fact for a term of less than three years, it can still take effect as a simple contract even in the absence of a signature.

Section 2 of the Law of Property (Misce

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