Property law: Land Law.

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Property law: Land Law

Assignment 2



The 2 forms of estate that can exist at law are Freehold and Leasehold. The clause ‘term of years absolute’ makes reference to the latter, in particular the nature of the lease and is made explicit in LPA 1925 s.1.

The ‘term of years’ refers to the length of the lease. This can be of any duration of time, from periods of less than a year, to a year certain, a fraction of a year, more than a year and from year to year.

The phrase ‘absolute’ indicates that the lease may be executed now to grant a term beginning upto 21 years in the future. In other words, the lease can be drawn up and agreed and executed well before it begins to take effect.


All the properties are freehold and have been let on fixed term tenancies.

  1. a self-contained flat let on a weekly tenancy

In this instance, the contract between the landlord and tenant is a short-term agreement of under 3 years and would therefore normally be in the form of a ‘tenancy agreement’. This form of agreement is a document that is not in the form of a deed as defined in s.54 (2) of the LPA 1925.    If the termination of tenancy is required, then, at the very least, the tenant has certain protection under common law and under statute. In the former case, a Notice to Quit must be served that is in length equivalent to at least the complete period of tenancy (i.e. 1 week). The latter case, under statute, is the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 that affords protection to tenants in a residential occupation whereby at least four weeks’ notice to quit must be served on the tenant; and preferably should be a written notice with statutory information.  


  1. a shop let for 10 years, the tenant is in arrears, the premises appear to be abandoned and the landlord enters the property to make it safe

The tenancy agreement in this instance would be a lease under LPA 1925 s.1 of a ‘term of years absolute, of 10 years. It appears that the landlord retains a reversionary interest.  

A fixed term of tenancy such as this is referred to as an ‘effluxion of time’. At common law, such tenancies require no notice of quit. However, business tenancies such as this for a term over 6 months provide the tenant with security of tenure that is granted by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 Part II. The tenancy can therefore continue after the normal expiry date until brought to an end by statutory procedures. It is possible that the tenant can be presumed to have surrendered his tenancy. By vacating the property, the surrender, and hence extinguishment of the tenancy, is implied by law, as expressed in LPA s.52 (2) (d). But it is important to note that the landlord must accept possession of the property. It reads thus that surrender does not take place simply because the tenant appears to have vacated the property. It is important that both parties intend to end the tenancy.

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The landlord retains a right to possession under the LTA 1954 Part II. By actually entering the property to make it safe, the property owner has enforced the right to possession, provided that he, the landlord, has not entered forcibly.  

If the tenant has absconded and deserted the premises and has not paid rent for more than 6 months, and has not responded to any reasonable means of correspondence for 6 months, then the landlord can apply to the County Court for an order to terminate the tenancy (Distress for Rent Act, 1737).  

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