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Marchant v Charters [1977] 1 WLR 1181 Court of Appeal

A bedsitting room was occupied on terms that the landlord cleaned the rooms daily and provided clean linen each week.


The occupier was a licensee and not a tenant.

Lord Denning MR:

"What is the test to see whether the occupier of one room in a house is a tenant or a licensee? It does not depend on whether he or she has exclusive possession or not. It does not depend on whether the room is furnished or not. It does not depend on whether the occupation is permanent or temporary. It does not depend on the label which the parties put on it. All these are factors which may influence the decision but none of them is conclusive. All the circumstances have to be worked out. Eventually the answer depends on the nature and quality of the occupancy. Was it intended that the occupier should have a stake in the room or did he have only permission for himself personally to occupy the room, whether under a contract or not? In which case he is a licensee?"

Back to lecture outline on requirements of a lease in Land Law