Rights of Tenant When Lease Ends: Surprise Decision


Only in special cases does a short-term tenancy have the protection given to longer tenancies under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, but it has always been considered that where a tenant continues in occupation after the expiry of the short lease, a periodic tenancy can be created.
However, the Court of Appeal has issued a surprising judgment regarding the nature of a tenancy after a lease has expired. The lease, which was for three months, contained a clause which provided that a week’s notice was required on either side after its expiry. This, the Court ruled, did NOT create a periodic tenancy, but a tenancy at will.
This decision runs exactly counter to a previous decision on the same subject and the received wisdom on the subject that in a case in which a notice period is specified after the lease term has expired, then a tenancy at will is not created, but a 'periodic tenancy'.

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