Q&As

Is an oral agreement where someone occupies property and the only term agreed was that rent was £600 per month a tenancy at will? If so, can the landlord evict the tenant immediately?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 13/12/2018

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

  • Is an oral agreement where someone occupies property and the only term agreed was that rent was £600 per month a tenancy at will? If so, can the landlord evict the tenant immediately?

Is an oral agreement where someone occupies property and the only term agreed was that rent was £600 per month a tenancy at will? If so, can the landlord evict the tenant immediately?

A tenancy at will is a flexible, personal arrangement between a landlord and an occupier which may or may not be in writing, and which is often used for short-term arrangements such as when the terms of a lease are being negotiated. The occupier does not acquire a legal interest in the property under a tenancy at will, and both the occupier and the landlord are free to end the tenancy at any time and for any reason. Therefore, if the agreement in place between the occupier and the landlord is indeed a tenancy at will then the landlord is free to terminate it immediately.

Another possibility is that the agreement between the landlord and the occupier is a licence. This also would not confer an interest in the land on the occupier. Whether or not the oral agreement is a licence will depend on several factors. A licence will not grant the licensee exclusive possession of the property save in exceptional circumstances, whereas a tenancy at will may. Also, a licence can be for a specified period or with a specified notice period. If the occupier has exclusive possession of the property,

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