The Law On Leases From A Legal Concept Of

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The Law on Leases from a Legal Concept of “Property”

Property in the legal sense is a collection of legal rights over a “thing”. This thing is a relationship that can be described as a power relationship within “real property” concerning legal rights and interests in land. Though the legal concept of property is very much broad and covers many types of proprietary rights, which are ‘interests in land’1, this essay will focus narrowly on the leasehold estate within the concept of property as a whole. Leases, in particular, are a way to conceptualize property but this area has implications within itself that has, to an extent, redefined the landlord and tenant relationship. One ongoing implication with leases has been an issue of distinguishing between a lease and a license based upon exclusive possession, and not merely upon title (which was considered the norm).2 To argue on the grounds of the “Bruton tenancy” theory3, a person without a proprietary interest in a property may grant a tenancy. This notion of non-proprietary interest within a property is debatable by many academics and the English law.
This essay will critically analyze how Bruton leases have come out from the traditional concept of leases and have altered the definition of exclusive possession within the legal notion of leasehold property. Before a discussion of what the Bruton lease is and the details of the case entail, it is important to discuss where the traditional lease was distinguished from a license and how the principle of leases has developed since Street v Mountford4.
The concept of a proprietary lease has developed since Street v Mountford, a case that set out the criteria for a lease, decided by the House of Lords. The leading judgment given by Lord Templeman was a key factor in distinguishing a lease from a license. Within this case, it was stated that a contract that gave exclusive possession for a specific term in exchange for a fee of rent was defined as a lease and therefore



Bibliography: Dixon, Martin , Modern Land Law, (8th edition, Routledge, 2012) Gray & Gray, ‘The Idea of Property in Land’ in Bright & Dewar (eds) Land Law: Themes and Perspectives (OUP 1998) Harwood, Michael, “Lease: are they still not really real?”, Legal Studies, 503 Lower, Michael, “The Bruton tenancy”, Conveyancer and Property Lawyer (2010) McFarlane Ben, The Structure of Property Law, (Hart Publishing 2008) Roberts, Nicolas, “The Bruton tenancy: a matter of relativity”, Conveyancer and Property Lawyer (2012) Routley, Patrick, “Tenancies and Estoppel- After Bruton v London & Quadrant Housing Trust”, Modern Law Review Limited (2000)

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