SarahBell, on 21 February 2012 - 08:55 AM, said:
Maybe he was stitched up in the will?
Looks like the tenant unknowingly stitched himself up years ago.
From the nearlylegal link:
Again Brian [the tenant] was trapped with the statements in his own evidence and his defence which stated that Mrs How [the previous owner] did not want to hold Brian liable for anything and that he was to have no obligations. The first instance court had clearly found, on evidence, that Brian was concerned to ensure that nobody else would benefit from work he did on the property and so he was not prepared to entertain any form of agreement which imposed a repairing obligation on him that might benefit another.
The comment at the end of the nearlylegal piece is interesting:
To some extent this case is one which turns on its facts. However, I am wondering if there is a deeper trend here. I have noticed a few times recently a willingness by the Courts to entertain the real possibility that a residential occupier for money’s worth with what appears to be exclusive possession is not a tenant. This is a thorny topic but one that I was always taught would be decided in the tenant’s favour. Now I find myself less certain of that. Doubtless many people will tell me that my suggestion of a new trajectory towards questioning tenancies is nonsense and there are as many decisions the other way. However, it seems to me that the Courts are becoming more nuanced about this issue and there is increasing scope for landlords to argue that they did not in fact grant a tenancy.