Case Note on Bruton Tenancy Essay

2170 Words Sep 24th, 2012 9 Pages
Case note on Bruton v London & Quadrant Housing Trust [2000] 1 AC 406

Introduction

In essence, “leases” are created between landlords and tenants as contracts to grant exclusive possession of the land for a defined period of time, in exchange of rent from tenant. Leases give contractual interests to tenants, while at the same time creates proprietary interests in the land by granting exclusive possession, which elevates a tenancy into an “estate/interest in land”. It can therefore be understood and has been suggested by commentators that leases are of dual nature and should “be characterised as something of a hybrid”[1]: a hybrid of contract and estate in land. In the landmark case of Bruton v London and Quadrant Housing Trust[2],
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In other sense, the necessary connection between lease and estate in land was denied by court. Court acknowledged that as long as exclusive possession along with other rights were granted in a contractual agreement, even though they were purely contractual (not proprietary) in nature, the agreement would still be considered as a lease.

Tradition v Bruton: Concepts of “Exclusive Possession”

The differences between traditional principle and Bruton can be explained by the fundamentally different concepts of “exclusive possession” understood. Although both sides admit creation of exclusive possession is necessary for a lease, there are, as commentary points out, contrasting views to exclusive possession as “absolute or relative concept”[9].

In the traditional view, exclusive possession is understood as absolute – exclusion of the whole world. Following the common law tradition of nemodat quod non habet, exclusive possession (i.e. proprietary interest) cannot be granted if the “landlord” has no title in land (e.g. a licensee), since in that case he himself would lack the proprietary interest in land as he is unable to exclude the real owner from taking possession. In a nutshell, leases are estates in land, and a party

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