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Somma v Hazlehurst [1978] 1 WLR 1014 Court of Appeal

A young unmarried couple occupied a double bed sitting room. They paid a weekly rent and received no services or attendance from the landlord. The landlord obliged them to enter separate agreements which stated they were licencees. The agreements each stated that they would be obliged to share the room with another person nominated by the landlord. However, in practice the couple enjoyed exclusive occupation of the room. The question for the court was whether the agreements were licences as expressed by the parties or whether they did in fact create a tenancy.


The agreements were licences.

Cumming Bruce LJ:

“ We can see no reason why their common intentions should be categorised as bogus, or unreal or as a sham merely on the ground that the court disapproves of the bargain.”

Note this case was disapproved of by Lord Templeman in Street v Mountford

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