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A lease is an estate in land of defined duration.

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Introduction

A lease is an estate in land of defined duration. It is capable of subsisting; as a legal estate, but it must be created in the manner required by the law and satisfy the definition of a 'term of years absolute' otherwise it is an equitable interest.1 There are two types of lease; fixed which is self determining 6months, 1 year, 50 years. The vital feature is that it is a fixed maximum duration. Periodic, weekly, monthly, annually, it continues indefinitely until terminated giving notice. A lease is sometimes referred to as hybrid- proprietary interest in land but roots in contractual relationship between landlord and tenant. There are also 3 essential requirements for a lease, according to Lord Tepleman the lessee or tenant must be granted: exclusive possession, for a fixed or periodic term; and in consideration of a premium (lump sum) or periodical payments. A licence is different it's a permission to do some act which would otherwise be unlawful in regard to the land of another person. It prevents what otherwise would be a tort i.e. trespass. There are five categories of licence: Bare licence, licence coupled with equity, licence coupled with the grant of an interest, licence & estopppel and contractual licence. The category into which a licence falls has consequences in terms of both revocability and assignability. The distinction between a lease and a licence - however elusive - is a vital determinant of several legal issues. Lease - licence distinction derives an immediate significance from the fact that a lease normally confers a proprietary estate in land but never a licence.2 Only a tenant has an estate or interest in land, whereas a licence is a right personal to the licensee and cannot be assigned. (Grey). It's seen that not normally a tenant but a licensee, is subject to the 'short-cut' summary procedure for the recovery of possession.

Middle

Also in Cobb v Lane (1952) there was no tenancy because there was no intention to enter into legal relations. If a occupier is employed by his /her landlord it doesn't mean that the occupier cant be a tenant. This is only if it's not aimed at facilitating the better performance of the employee's contract of service. Where the accommodation might just as readily have been allocated to a non-employee- the courts seem much more willing to identify the status of the accommodation in terms of tenancy. 32 (Grey). However where an au pair lives in a room in his/her employer's house there is a much stronger connection between the au pair's employment and accommodation. If the au pair is dismissed the landlord/employer will want to employ a new au pair and he/she will also want the room to be available for the new employee. Therefore an employee who is required to occupy his/her employer's premises for better performance of his/her duties ranks as a mere licensee. This type of person is known as a service occupier or a service licensee.33 (Grey) A tenancy cannot be said to have arisen if it is not within the landlord's power to create a lease. In the case of London Borough of Camden v Shortlife Community Housing et al (1993)34, the question arose whether Camden had granted a lease or a licence to a housing association, which provided housing for young single people in London. By virtue of certain sections of the Housing Act 1980, Camden was forbidden to 'dispose' of land without ministerial consent. Millet J found that on its true construction the agreement entered into was a licence and not a lease. The word 'dispose' includes a lease, but not a licence, and therefore, because Camden did not have the power to grant a lease the housing association had acquired a licence and not a lease.

Conclusion

1 AC 417 at 466h - 467a Per Lord Oliver of Aylmerton 24 Gray K, Gray S, Elements of Land Law, 3rd Edition, 2001, Butterworths 25 Antoniades v Villiers (1990) 1 AC 417 at 466h - 467a Per Lord Oliver of Aylmerton 26 Garner S, A Practical Approach to Landlord and Tenant, 2nd Edition, 1998, Blackstone's Press Limited 27 Sexton R, LLB Learning Texts Land Law, 3rd Edition, 1998, Blackstone's Press Limited 28Gray K, Gray S, Butterworths Core Text Series Land Law, 1999, Butterworths 29 Ward v Warnke (1990),22 HLR 496 30 Street v Mountford (1985) AC 809 Per Lord Templeman 31 Booker v Palmer (1942) 2 All ER 674 32 Gray K, Gray S, Elements of Land Law, 3rd Edition, 2001, Butterworths 33 Gray K, Gray S, Elements of Land Law, 3rd Edition, 2001, Butterworths 34 London Borough of Camden v Shortlife Community Housing et al (1993) 25 HLR 330 35 Garner S, A Practical Approach to Landlord and Tenant, 2nd Edition, 1998, Blackstone's Press Limited 36 Street v Mountford (1985) AC 809 Per Lord Templeman 37 Street v Mountford (1985) AC 809 Per Lord Templeman 38 Street v Mountford (1985) AC 809 Per Lord Templeman 39 Gray K, Gray S, Butterworths Core Text Series Land Law,1999, Butterworths 40Abbeyfield (Harpenden) Society ltd v Woods (1968) 1 WLR 374 41 Garner S, A Practical Approach to Landlord and Tenant, 2nd Edition, 1998, Blackstone's Press Limited 42 Gray K, Gray S, Butterworths Core Text Series Land Law, 1999, Butterworths 43 Aslan v Murphy (no 1 & 2) Duke v Waynne (1989) 3 ALL ER 130 44 Gray K, Gray S, Butterworths Core Text Series Land Law, 1999, Butterworths 45Antoniades v Villiers (1990) Per Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle 46 Antoniades v Villiers (1990) 47 Gray K, Gray S, Butterworths Core Text Series Land Law, 1999, Butterworths 48 AG Securities v Vaughan (1988) 3 All ER 1058

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