Periodic tenancy: holding over when rent under fixed term was payable weekly

In Adler v Blackman ([1953] 1 Q.B. 146, CA (Eng)) L and T had been parties to a fixed term tenancy. The rent was a weekly rent (not a yearly or quarterly rent payable in monthly instalments). T held over at the end of the term and continued to pay rent weekly. L gave notice to quit calculated on the basis that T had a weekly periodic tenancy. T argued that it had a yearly periodic tenancy. L succeeded.

‘But in a case like the present, where the rent is expressed to be per week, I think when the fixed period has come to an end one should not presume anything but a weekly tenancy, namely, a tenancy for the period in respect of which the rent is expressed. It is one of those cases (and there are many) when the law has to do its best to fill up a gap which has been left by the parties. The parties are obviously in some relationship of landlord and tenant but they have not taken the trouble to write down in black and white what the relationship is. That, I think, is the proper conclusion.’ (Somervell L.J. 150)

Michael Lower

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