Real Estate Tip of the Week: Don't judge a book by its cover - or a lease as a licence

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Real Estate Tip of the Week: Don't judge a book by its cover - or a lease as a licence

Published 19 marzo 2018

The case of Islington BC v Green Live Ltd, t/a Green Live Estate Agents is a useful reminder to landlords that the principles established in the House of Lords decision in Street v Mountford in 1985 still hold good and it is still the case that simply naming a document a "licence" will not necessarily mean that it is a true licence that has been granted.

In this case it was held that Green Live Ltd's use of a "licence" was deliberately designed to circumvent tenants' usual statutory protections. Green Live Ltd pleaded guilty to issuing licences to occupy as opposed to a tenancy under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and was fined.

The case upheld the established principles that if a landlord grants exclusive possession for a term, in return for the payment of rent, a tenancy will be created regardless of the intention of the parties, and whether or not the document is described as a "licence".

Landlords need to be cautious and ensure that they do not inadvertently grant security of tenure to their tenants. This depends on individual circumstances so please do not hesitate to get in touch for further advice.

Authors

Angharad Davies

Angharad Davies

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6085

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