Law Of Property Act 1925
The transactions Callum completed with Erin reveal two common issues: (i) whether Dylan, Leo and Jasmine entered into valid leases with Callum: (ii), subject to the issue (i) analysis, whether the termination notice Erin subsequently serves on each tenant is valid. The requisite legal analysis vary as determined by the specific circumstances of each transaction.
1. Lease versus licence
Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925) provisions establish the relevant legal foundation. LPA 1925 s. 1(1) confirms an estate for a term of years absolute as a subsisting property right. A valid fixed term tenancy must include a commencement date, with either an express termination date or means to calculate this date. A landlord and tenant cannot create a tenancy of an uncertain duration, subject to the periodic tenancy definitions described below; a certain commencement and end date must be established. Where the fixed term tenancy is less than three years’ duration, it may be created orally or by written agreement, if the lease takes effect in possession (the tenant taking immediate occupation) at the best rent that is ‘reasonably obtainable’.
Street v Mountford confirms that a valid lease has three hallmarks: (i) the tenant receives exclusive possession; (ii) the tenant is obliged to pay rent; and (iii), a certain term. Where any of these hallmarks is missing, a licence (a personal right), and not a lease (property right) is created. In Antoniades, an