Courts give effect to the true bargain

Aslan v Murphy (Nos 1 and 2) ([1990] 1 W.L.R. 766, CA (Eng)) followed soon after A.G. Securities v Vaughan ([1990] A.C. 417). In one of the cases, there was an agreement (labelling itself a ‘licence’) for the occupation of a small room. There was a clause to the effect that the licensor could enter at any time or introduce others. The English Court of Appeal found that this was a tenancy. The true intention of the parties was that there would be exclusive possession. The other case concerned a similar agreement but this time in relation to a house with three bedrooms and two reception rooms. Sharing would have been possible but again the court decided that the true bargain was that there would be exclusive possession. The fact that the agreements provided that the landlord would have a key and that the lock would not be changed was ambiguous. Its significance would depend on why the landlord needed a key.

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