Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Business expert: When writing is the best policy

By Alex Lyttle, associate partner at Tayntons Solicitors 

Professional drafting of any legal agreement really is essential when dealing with any interest in land.

Without one, at best there is uncertainty and at worst you could end up in court. This is highlighted in a case where informal occupation of commercial premises gave rise to intractable and costly High Court proceedings.

The occupiers of three commercial units each claimed to have a right to some sort of tenancy. They argued that such a right derived from a 10-year tenancy that had been granted orally to one of them, a company. Alternatively, they submitted that the company had a periodic tenancy, either quarterly or monthly, to be inferred from the landlords' conduct in accepting regular rent.

Upon seeking summary judgment against the occupiers, the Court noted, by operation of Section 52 of the Law of Property Act 1925, a lease for a term of more than three years is void unless made by deed. The claim to a 10-year oral lease was therefore struck out.

The Court, however, noted that it is well established that a periodic tenancy can come into existence by inference where a person occupies land with the owner's consent and periodic rent is paid and accepted. There was evidence that the company had been conducting business from the premises for some years and that rent had been demanded and paid on a quarterly basis.

In these circumstances, the issue at hand could not be fairly disposed of summarily and would have to be considered at a full hearing. It was also arguable that the company had a business tenancy subject to, and protected by, Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The occupiers had raised serious issues to be tried and the Court issued an injunction to protect their position and to maintain the status quo pending trial.

The lesson to be learned is if you have an interest in land make sure it is in writing.

Have any questions or in need of your own legal advice? Contact Alex Lyttle and the team at Tayntons. Telephone 01452 522047 , email info@tayntons.co.uk  or visit www.tayntons.co.uk.

Subscribe to Punchline

Related Articles

New 'see-touch-buy' range launched at Gillman's Image

New 'see-touch-buy' range launched at Gillman's

The Gloucester-based, family-run appliance specialists are showcasing the latest products from German manufacturer Siemens.

Fire Service saga: Forget about an 'air war', it's e-mail madness between Martin Surl and Council Image

Fire Service saga: Forget about an 'air war', it's e-mail madness between Martin Surl and Council

Neither side able to take the moral high ground in increasingly-childish battle.

Businessman becomes United Nations' ambassador Image

Businessman becomes United Nations' ambassador

A high-profile Gloucestershire businessman has been awarded an official role with the United Nations.

Unilever part of big brand comeback Image

Unilever part of big brand comeback

Unilever, which has an ice cream factory in Barnwood, is just one of the global megabrands bucking the trends and making a comeback.

Copyright 2019 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.