Any joint periodic tenant can give an effective notice to terminate the periodic tenancy

Any joint tenant of a periodic tenancy can give a valid notice to terminate the periodic tenancy notwithstanding the opposition of the other joint tenant or joint tenants.

In Hammersmith and Fulham LBC v Monk ([1992] 1 AC 478, HL) a co-habiting couple held their flat as joint tenants of a periodic tenancy. They fell out and one of the couple gave notice to terminate the periodic tenancy. The House of Lords held that this notice was valid. Any joint periodic tenant could give an effective notice to quit even against the will of the other joint tenant or joint tenants. Lord Bridge of Harwich pointed out that this was consistent with principle and a long line of authority. The principle is that it would be wrong to insist that one party to a contract should be held to it, potentially for the rest of their lives, against their will. Very clear words would be needed to demonstrate that this was the will of the parties. Lord Browne-Wilkinson concurred though, as he pointed out, the effect was to allow one party to destroy the property rights of another. As he pointed out, there was a tension between the result suggested by a contractual approach to the problem and that suggested by a property-based approach. The House of Lords’ analysis makes it clear that the determination of a periodic tenancy is quite different from the exercise of a break clause in a fixed-term lease. Here the consent of all joint tenants to the exercise of a break right would be needed.

2 Responses to “Any joint periodic tenant can give an effective notice to terminate the periodic tenancy”

  1. mary g Says:

    this is helpful

  2. beansandcarrots Says:

    Thanks for your post – I study law in the UK and this is a great summary! 🙂

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