Should we stay or should we go? Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Ltd v Erimus Housing Ltd

By Martin McKeague

The recent case of Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Ltd v Erimus Housing Ltd provides a valuable reminder that remaining in occupation at the end of a fixed-term tenancy can have adverse consequences for tenants as well as landlords.

Where a tenant occupies premises for business purposes, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 gives the tenant security of tenure when his contractual tenancy comes to an end. The act provides that the tenancy continues on a statutory basis; the tenant may therefore remain in occupation, and he has the right to ask his landlord to grant him a new tenancy. A landlord may only object on certain limited statutory grounds to the grant of a new tenancy.

However, if the parties so wish, by following statutory procedures prior to entering into a lease the landlord and tenant can agree that the tenancy will not have the security of tenure that would otherwise be conferred by the act. Following the statutory procedure creates an ‘excluded tenancy’, which will simply come to an end on the contractual termination date…

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