When does a tenancy begin?

Lynch v Kirby, QBD, 28.1.10 before Nicola Davies QC sitting as a Deputy Judge is – according to Casetrack – in the process of being written up. I became aware of it as a (very) short note on the Garden Court bulletin last Monday. I doubt that it’ll set the legal world on fire as it appears to turn on its facts. Still…

It looks like a landlord agreed to let a room in a premises to a tenant if he (the tenancy) could obtain housing benefit. The tenant entered into occupation on 20.2.1997 and obtained HB some six weeks later, backdated to the start of the tenancy. The landlord contended that the tenancy did not actually start until HB was in payment. The tenant said that the tenancy commenced upon occupation.

Why was this important? Well, prior to 28.2.1997, if you wanted to grant an AST, you had to serve on the tenant a notice under s.20(2), Housing Act 1988 before the tenancy was entered into. For tenancies after 28.2.1997, this requirement was removed and the AST became the default model from which one opted-out. Hence the importance of establishing when the tenancy commenced.

The High Court held that the tenancy had been made on 20.2.1997 and, hence, was fully assured.

As ever, more details as soon as we have them.

About J

J is a barrister in London. He loves service charges and all things leasehold law related. He also likes beating rogue landlords and mortgage companies.
Posted in Assured Shorthold tenancy, assured-tenancy and tagged , .


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      I would recommend seeking advice from a law centre or via Shelter’s advice line.

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