West Law Report

Creating tenancy by intention

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on December 5, 2008

From The Times
December 1, 2008
Creating tenancy by intention

Court of Appeal
Published December 1, 2008
Truro Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd v Foley

Whether an agreement by deed to grant a tenancy constituted a grant of the tenancy depended on the intention of the parties. An agreement would usually be construed as a lease if it contained present words of demise.

Section 34(1)(b) of the Housing Act 1988 applied only to cases in which a new tenancy took effect immediately on the expiry of the old tenancy. Any gap in time between the expiry of the old tenancy and the new tenancy was enough to deprive the tenant of the protection of section 34(1)(b).

The Court of Appeal (Lord Justice May, Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Sir John Chadwick) so held on October 22, 2008, dismissing an appeal by the tenant, Desmond Foley, from a decision of Judge Neligan in Truro County Court that his deed of agreement with his landlord, the Truro Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd, concerning School House, South Petherwin, near Launceston, did not confer on him the status of protected or statutory tenant.

LORD JUSTICE MOORE-BICK said the board had claimed possession of the property on the basis that the tenancy was a protected shorthold. The tenant claimed full Rent Act protection.

By way of compromise, the tenant surrendered possession for 24 hours in return for an assured shorthold tenancy. The compromise deed contained no present words of demise and the parties had not intended that it should create an immediate tenancy.

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