Is there a lease where the arrangement is an act of kindness?

There are exceptional cases in which an occupier has exclusive possession for a certain term but there is no lease. One such case is where the occupation is allowed as an act of kindness or altruism.

In Marcroft Wagons Ltd v Smith ([1952] 2 K.B. 496, CA (Eng)) M (the owner of land) allowed a deceased tenant’s daughter to remain in occupation of a house after her mother’s death. They refused to grant the daughter a lease because they wanted the house for an employee. The daughter paid a fee in return for this occupation. She claimed that her exclusive possession meant that she had a lease. The Court of Appeal made it clear that this was a difficult case but held that there was no lease. Evershed MR was reluctant to hold that there was a lease (with all of the controls that would result) when the arrangement was the fruit of an act of kindness. This is clearly a borderline decision in a case in which the Court of Appeal was reluctant to saddle the owner with the statutory controls that would have applied were they to find that a lease had been created.

One Response to “Is there a lease where the arrangement is an act of kindness?”

  1. Street v Mountford | Land Law Says:

    […] a family member or friend) to occupy property but where there is no contractual intent (as in Marcroft Wagons Ltd v Smith [1952] 2 K.B. […]

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