ii) A fixed term There must be a certain starting date fixed before the lease takes effect and the maximum duration must be fixed. Lace v Chantler  KB 368 Court of Appeal A tenant of a house sub-let the house to the defendant. The agreement stated the lease was to last for the duration of the war. Held: The tenancy failed as there was no certainty as to the maximum duration. Lord Greene MR: "Normally there could be no question that this was an ordinary weekly tenancy, duly determinable by a week's notice, but the parties in the rent-book agreed to a term which appears there expressed by the words 'furnished for duration,' which must mean the duration of the war. The question immediately arises whether a tenancy for the duration of the war creates a good leasehold interest. Ashburn Anstalt v Arnold  Ch 1 Prudential Assurance Co Ltd v London Residuary Body  2 AC 386 Berrisford v Mexfield Housing Association  UKSC 52 The problems created by the decision in Berrisford and indeed the earlier cases could be avoided if the parties included a maximum term subject to a right to determine the lease on the occurrence of a particular event e.g. a lease for 50 years subject to the right of the tenant and the landlord to determine ‘if the war ends’. 4
A periodic tenancy where a tenant pays rent weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly is not an uncertain period. Although the precise duration of the tenancy is unknown, it is known that the tenant may give notice in accordance with the rules relating to the period of notice for each of the periods of the tenancy. Southward Housing v Walker  EWHC 1615 Gilpin v Legg  EWHC 3220 iii) Exclusive Possession The key feature of a lease lies with whether or not the claimant is entitled to exclusive possession of the premises. Without exclusive possession an occupier cannot claim to be entitled to a lease. Exclusive possession entitles the occupier to prevent the landlord from accessing the premises without the permission of the occupier In Street v Mountford  AC 809, Lord Templeman stated “The traditional view that the grant of exclusive possession for a term at a rent creates a tenancy is consistent with the elevation of the tenancy into an estate in land. The tenant possessing exclusive possession is able to exercise the rights of an owner of land, which is in the real sense his land albeit temporarily and subject to certain restrictions. A tenant armed with exclusive possession can keep out strangers and keep out the land lord unless the landlord is exercising limited rights, reserved to him by the tenancy agreement, to enter view and repair, A licensee lacking exclusive possession can in no sense call the land his own and cannot be said to own any estate in the land. The licence does not create an estate in the land to which it relates but only makes an act lawful which would otherwise be unlawful.” Street v Mountford  AC 809 Court ignoring the intention of the parties and undermines what they see as a lease A number of different issues arise when trying to define what the courts construe as exclusive possession.
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