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Tenancy at Will or Periodic Tenancy? Looking at the terms of tenancies implied by conduct.

  • United Kingdom
  • Real estate litigation - LawBite

29-09-2022

Valley View v NHS Property Services Ltd [2022] EWHC 1393

This case was one of 5 test cases that considered the nature of the interests under which the GP practices were occupying their surgeries. In this case there was no written lease.  

The court was required to decide whether the claimant GP practices occupied under the terms of a Tenancy at Will or a Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (‘LTA 54) protected tenancy implied from conduct.

In this case, the claimants had occupied their surgery since 2007.  Over the years there had been periods where there had been very little by way of negotiation, some periods where negotiations for a formal grant had been carried out and some where they had ceased to negotiate all together.

Applying the principles set out in Javad v Aqil [1991] 1 WLR 1007 the Judge held that the claimants were tenants at will; it did not matter that hardly any negotiation had taken place nor that there had been a lengthy pause. The Judge found that the parties’ intentions had remained throughout that the claimant practice should in due course take a sub-lease or an assignment of NHS Property Services’ own lease.

The principle that a pause in negotiations does not necessarily result in the creation of a tenancy implied from conduct is not new, but this case represents a particularly striking example of the application of that principle: the claimants, who had been in occupation for 14 years and had ceased negotiating a formal grant for years at time, were still properly to be regarded as mere tenants at will.

  • A pause in negotiations does not necessarily result in the creation of a tenancy implied from conduct. The claimants had been in occupation for 14 years and had ceased negotiating a formal grant for years at a time and were still properly regarded as mere tenants at will.
  • In the absence of a written agreement, the parties’ intentions will confirm the basis of their occupation.