Concerned distinction between tenancies at will and
Defendant allowed to occupy business premises owned by
defendant while negotiations for ten year lease proceeded.
On three occasions defendant paid quarterly rent.
Negotiations then broke down.
Defendant given notice to quit.
Was defendant tenant at will (in which case notice to
Or was he quarterly tenant (in which case he was
protected by legislation)?
Court held defendant was tenant at will.
Nicholls LJ –
Where one party permits another to go into possession
of his land on payment of certain periodic rent, failing more an intention to
create a periodic tenancy is inferred.
But note ‘failing more’.
When parties are negotiating larger terms, caution
must be exercised before inferring intention to give occupant more than a very
limited interest, be it license or tenancy.