Javad v Aqil [1991] 1 WLR 100

Key point

  • A tenancy at will rises where when the tenant is in occupation but the parties are in the course of negotiations


  • The landlord of business premises (C) allowed the tenant (D) into occupation on payment in advance for 3 months expressed in a receipt
  • The parties negotiated on the lease but agreement was never reached
  • C sought possession, arguing that D was in occupation as tenant at will

Held (Court of Appeal)

  • D had a mere tenancy at will

Nicholls LJ

  • D’s possession with C’s consent coupled with payment and acceptance of rent by quarterly payment did not raise a presumption of periodic tenancy
  • The inference of periodic tenancy depended on the circumstances of which payment of rent periodically was only one factor
  • The fact that the parties were negotiating for a final agreement indicates that the granting of possession is just an interim measure and quarterly payments are in anticipation of the terms to be agreed
  • Where one party permits another to enter upon his land on payment of money there could be a licence determinable at any time or a tenancy at will


  • A tenancy at will can be revoked at anytime by the landlord