Yearly tenancy: notice to quit expiring on anniversary of commencement

Sidebotham v Holland ([1895] 1 Q.B. 378, CA (Eng)) concerned a yearly tenancy that began on 19th May 1890. On 17th November 1893, L served notice to quit on 19th May 1894. There was a question as to whether the notice was invalid since it expired on the anniversary date of the term rather than on the expiry date of a period (18th May). It was held that the notice was valid.

A.L. Smith L.J. made the following suggestion:

‘I would point out that the plaintiff has only himself to blame for the difficulties he is in in this case. Had he added the words which are very ordinarily inserted in a notice to quit, “or at the expiration of the year of your tenancy, which shall expire next after the end of one half-year from the service of this notice,” and which are inserted to avoid such a point as that now taken, all would have been in order; but the words are not there.’ (389)

In the absence of express agreement (and leaving aside feast day tenancies)  a yearly tenancy can be ended by a six months’ notice to quit.

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