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Bruton v London & Quadrant Housing Trust [2000]

Facts

  • Lambeth London Borough Council owned a property intended for future development
  • Prior to development starting, the Lambeth LBC licensed the property to London & Quadrant Housing Trust, to be used as temporary accommodation for homeless persons
  • The Housing Trust purported to grant Bruton exclusive possession over part of the property, in an agreement labelled as a licence
  • Bruton claimed that he had a lease over the ‘his’ part of the property, and under landlord and tenant legislation claimed that the Housing Trust should repair the part under an implied covenant

Issue

  • Was the Housing Trust under an obligation to repair?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • Applying Street v Mountford [1985], the agreement between Burton and the Housing Trust constituted a lease, and not a licence, as it was labelled
  • By agreement, a tenancy had been created, even though the Housing Trust had no title to grant a lease from (a head lease or fee simple estate from which to carve a lease from)
  • There was no need for a ‘tenancy by estoppel’
  • For the different types of leases which can be created, please see land law notes on leases
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