One tenant in common can create a non-exclusive licence to occupy the co-owned property

A tenant in common can grant a non-exclusive licence to occupy the property.

Chin Lan Hong v Cheung Poh Choo ([2005] HKLRD 811, CA) concerned a non-exclusive licence to occupy property originally made in favour of D1 by her father and later by D2 and D3, the administrators of the estate of one of the father’s sons by his concubine. As administrators, D2 and D3 were tenants in common of the legal title to the property (with a one-fifth share). D2 and D3 allowed D1 to remain in the property. The Court of Appeal held that any tenant in common can grant a licence and that the other tenants in common cannot terminate it. This is because each tenant in common has his own share (and right to share possession) with which he can deal as he sees fit.

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