CREATION OF LEASES AND PERIODIC TENANCY
A lease may be created either orally, in writing, or by deed. At common law, a lease may be created by parol. This remains the general mode of creating periodic tenancy which is the most common place of all types of leases. Over three centuries ago, parties to conveyance of land were perpetrating fraud as a result of the absence of written evidence of land transactions. The English parliament responded by enacting the STATUTE OF FRAUD in 1677. SECTION 3 provides that leases, among other things relating to estate in land, must be by deed or note in writing. This does not affect leases for a term not exceeding three years. By SECTION 2 these leases are exempted from the requirement of writing. An attempt to create a lease for more than three years which is not in writing is void. SECTION 1 saves it by providing that where an interest in land is created by parol, it shall have the force and effect of an interest at will only (that is tenancy at will). This provision is equivalent of SECTION 79 of the PROPERTY AND CONVEYANCING LAW, 1959 which applies in Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States. In 1845, the REAL PROPERTY ACT was enacted. SECTION 3 thereof provides that “ a lease required by law to be in writing… shall be void at law unless made by deed.” SECTION 77 PCL has a similar provision. The effect of this provision taken in conjunction with SECTION 1 and 2 of the STATUTE OF FRAUDS is that a lease for three years or less, at a rent not less than two third of a rack rent, may be by parol or in writing not under seal. But a demise not under seal for more than three years which SECTION 3 of the STATUTE OF FRAUDS required to be in writing or deed, must now be by deed. The 1677 and 1845 Acts are statute of general application in force in Northern states. Lagos and all the eastern states save Anambra and Enugu states which have a landlord and tenant law, 1986. Section 38 of the LANDLORD AND TENANT...
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