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Leases … bite size

A lease is an agreement between one person (the landlord) to allow another person (the tenant) to occupy property for a defined period of time.  A lease can be of residential property, commercial property or agricultural property.

There are many different types of lease but they all have 2 things in common:

  • There is a certain term. A lease can be for any term from 1 month to 1000 years but the term must be definite. So it must have a certain beginning and a certain end.
  • The tenant must have exclusive possession of the property. This means that they have control of the property and can exclude every else from the property. The landlord will have limited rights to enter the property to inspect and carry out works.

Although many leases will require the tenant to pay rent (this could be anything from £1 a year to £100,000 a month) it is not necessary to charge a rent to have a valid lease.


Key cases:

Street v Mountford 1985] AC 809

Ashburn Anstalt v Arnold ]1989] Ch 1


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