Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 Part IV

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By Agata Marosz, Solicitor specialising in Commercial Property.

What is my status if I have remained in occupation following the expiry of a contracted-out lease?

If the landlord is not taking active action to demand possession of the property and you are not happy with the uncertainty of your occupational status, you should contact your landlord to regularise the situation. If it is your intention to remain in the property, it may be possible to negotiate a renewal lease with your landlord. Otherwise, a holdover tenancy will have arisen – a licence, tenancy at will or periodic tenancy.

Licence: this type of tenancy arises if you do not have exclusive possession of the property and occupying it for business purposes. A true licence can only be determined by looking at the terms of the document

Tenancy at will: this type of tenancy is personal, and it will not specify length of a tenant’s duration or the payment (if undocumented), and it can be terminated by the landlord or you at any time. No time period needs be specified as the landlord may state that the tenancy is at an end and that possession is to be given back immediately. It arises where the holding over takes place in anticipation of a new lease being granted and the negotiations for the new lease have started.

Periodic tenancy: this type of tenancy arises where a landlord or its managing agent accepts the rents under the current lease but there are no on-going negotiations for a new lease. This will also include negotiations which have broken down as a result of the parties’ not being able to agree the terms. A periodic tenancy will always attract security of tenure (the right to a new lease) and a prudent landlord will not agree to a periodic tenancy intentionally but rather ensure that one is never granted.

Does a lease for a term of less than six months attract security of tenure?

If you have a lease of less than six months but the lease contains a right to renew beyond the six months or if you or the former tenant has been in occupation for a period of more than 12 months, such a lease will attract security of tenure.

Read Part III

For advice on leases, please contact Agata Marosz.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.