A G Securities v Vaughan; Antoniades v Villiers and Bridger: HL 10 Nov 1988

In Antoniades, the two tenants occupied an attic, living together. Each had at the same time signed identical agreements purporting to create licences. The landlord had reserved to himself the right to occupy the property and to allow others to occupy it so as to create no more than a licence.
Held: Behaviour by the parties after a tenancy areement was not relevant in construing the tenancy agreement, but can be used to see whether the document properly reflected what the parties intended. Such surrounding circumstances include ‘any relationship between the prospective occupiers, the course of negotiations and the nature and extent of the accommodation and the intended and actual mode of occupation.’ The documents were interdependent, and in fact the tenants had enjoyed exclusive occupation. The clause allowing additional occupiers was a sham. The two agreements had to be read together. The parties could not contract out of the Rent Acts, and clause 16 did not reflect the true position and that accordingly clause 16 should be struck out.
In A G Securities, four tenants of a property had signed separate documents at different times. They now claimed to have one joint tenancy rather than licence agreements as claimed by the landlord.
Held: The court will look to the substance and reality of the transaction entered into by the parties, not just the apparent form. Nevertheless, in this case the rigts and duties having been created originally as several obligations, could not become joint.
Lord Templeman said: ‘Where a landlord creates a tenancy of a flat and reserves the right to go into exclusive occupation at any time of the whole or part of the flat with or without notice, that reservation is inconsistent with the provisions of the Rent Acts and cannot be enforced without an order of the court under section 98. Where a landlord creates a tenancy of a flat and reserves the right to go into occupation of the whole or part of the flat with or without notice, jointly with the existing tenants, that reservation also is inconsistent with the provisions of the Acts. Were it otherwise every tenancy agreement would be labelled a licence and would contract out of the Rent Acts by reserving power to the landlord to share possession with the tenant at any time after the commencement of the term.
Clause 16 is a reservation to Mr Antoniades of the right to go into occupation or to nominate others to enjoy occupation of the whole of the flat jointly with Mr Villiers and Miss Bridger. Until that power is exercised Mr Villiers and Miss Bridger are jointly in exclusive occupation of the whole flat making periodical payments and they are therefore tenants. The Rent Acts prevents the exercise of a power which would destroy the tenancy of Mr Villiers and Miss Bridger and would deprive them of the exclusive occupation of the flat which they are now enjoying. Clause 16 is inconsistent with the provisions of the Rent Acts.
There is separate and alternative reason why clause 16 must be ignored. Clause 16 was not a genuine reservation to Mr Antoniades of the power to share the flat and a power to authorise other persons to share the flat. Mr Antoniades did not genuinely intend to exercise the powers save possibly to bring pressure to bear to obtain possession. Clause 16 was only intended to deprive Mr Villiers and Miss Bridger of the protection of the Rent Acts. Mr Villiers and Miss Bridger had no choice in the matter.’
Lord Bridge said: ‘Here the artificiality was in the pretence that two contemporaneous and identical agreements entered into by a man and a woman who were going to live together in a one-bedroom flat and share a double bed created rights and obligations which were several rather than joint. As to the nature of those rights and obligations, the provisions of the joint agreement purporting to retain the right in the respondent to share the occupation of the flat with the young couple himself or to introduce an indefinite number of third parties to do so could be seen, in the relevant circumstances, to be repugnant to the true purpose of the agreement. No one could have supposed that those provisions were ever intended to be acted on. They were introduced into the agreement for no other purpose than as an attempt to disguise the true character of the agreement which it was hoped would deceive the court and prevent the appellants enjoying the protection of the Rent Acts. As your Lordships all agree, the attempt fails.’

Lord Bridge of Harwich, Lord Templeman, Lord Ackner, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle
[1988] 1 EGLR 36, [1990] 1 AC 417, [1988] 3 WLR 1205, [1988] UKHL 8, [1988] 3 All ER 1058
Rent Act 1977 1
England and Wales
Dictum approvedSnook v London and West Riding Investments Ltd CA 1967
Sham requires common intent to create other result
The court considered a claim by a hire-purchase company for the return of a vehicle. The bailee said the agreement was a sham.
Held: The word ‘sham’ should only be used to describe an act or document where the parties have a common intention . .
Appeal fromAntoniades v Villiers and Another CA 17-Mar-1988
The court considered whether a license agreement was a sham and that a tenancy had been created. Bingham LJ said: ‘Where a written agreement is not held to be a sham, the task of the court, as with any other agreement, is to construe it and give . .
CitedCole v Harris 1945
The court was aksed whether a single room was let as a separate dwelling.
Held: Sharing of the use of a bathroom or toilet need not prevent a tenancy being protected. . .
CitedNeale v Del Soto CA 1945
A letting of two of a number of rooms in a property together with joint use with the landlord of the kitchen, bathroom, lavatory and conservatory was not a letting of the two rooms as a separate dwelling, but a sharing of the property. The letting . .
CitedCurl v Angelo CA 1948
Two rooms were let to the proprietor of an adjoining hotel as additional accommodation for the hotel. They were used mainly for guests but occasionally for the hotel tenant’s family or staff. One such claimed security of tenure.
Held: The . .
CitedAldrington Garages Ltd v Fielder 1978
Mr Fielder and Miss Maxwell together applied to take a self-contained flat. Each signed an agreement to pay andpound;54.17 per month to share the use of the flat with one other person. The couple moved into the flat and enjoyed exclusive occupation. . .
CitedHadjiloucas v Crean CA 1988
Two ladies applied to take two-roomed flat with kitchen and bathroom. Each signed an agreement to pay pounds 260 per month to share the use of the flat with one other person. They moved into the flat and enjoyed exclusive occupation. In terms, if . .
CitedSturolson v Weniz CA 1984
The plaintiffs took occupation under an agreement which purported to grant a non exclusive right of possession of the flat, and to be personal. Occupation could only be shared with persons approved in advance by L. L’s agent had said the agreement . .
CitedSomma v Hazelhurst CA 1978
A young unmarried couple H and S occupied a double bedsitting room for which they paid a weekly rent. The landlord did not provide services or attendance and the couple were not lodgers but tenants enjoying exclusive possession.
Held: The . .
CitedCrancour Ltd v Da Silvaesa and Another CA 26-Feb-1986
The plaintiff sought possession of two rooms in a house occupied by the defendants separately. The agreements stated that they were licences. The agreements excluded the occupiers between 10:30am and noon on each day. The occupiers claimed to be . .

Cited by:
CitedHomebase Ltd and Another v Allied Dunbar Assurance Plc CA 17-May-2002
The tenant held land under a lease restricting the terms of any underletting. It wanted to sublet part, but could find no tenant who would take the terms. It sought to let the property in a sub-lease which complied formally with the head-lease but . .
CitedParkins v City of Westminster CA 20-Nov-1997
The council granted what it called a licence to the applicant. He was one of their employee teachers, and they wanted to supply accomodation. They appealed refusal of possession on the basis that he had become a secure tenant under the Act. It had . .
CitedCollier v Collier CA 30-Jul-2002
Fraudulent Intent Negated Trust
The daughter claimant sought possession of business premises from her father who held them under leases. He claimed an order that the property was held in trust for him. The judge that at the time the properties were conveyed, the father had been . .
CitedBankway Properties Ltd v Penfold-Dunsford and Another CA 24-Apr-2001
A grant of an assured tenancy included a clause under which the rent would be increased from pounds 4,680, to pounds 25,000 per year. It was expected that the tenant would be reliant upon Housing Benefit to pay the rent, and that Housing Benefit . .
CitedAslan v Murphy (No 1 and 2); Duke v Wynne CA 27-Jun-1989
Occupiers claimed that they had secure tenancies. The owner said that they were mere lodgers. In Murphy (1), the landlord said that the occupier must share possession with other occupiers if required. He now said that he had retained a key and that . .
CitedUber Bv and Others v Aslam and Others CA 19-Dec-2018
Uber drivers are workers
The claimant Uber drivers sought the status of workers, allowing them to claim the associated statutory employment benefits. The company now appealed from a finding that they were workers.
Held: The appeal failed (Underhill LJ dissenting) The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Contract, Housing

Updated: 20 December 2021; Ref: scu.181340