Doe dem Warner v Browne: 1807

The parties agreed a lease at a rent of andpound;40 per annum. The landlord was not to raise the rent nor turn out the tenant ‘so long as the rent is duly paid quarterly, and he does not expose to sale or sell any article that may be injurious to W Warner in his business.’ The tenant paid his rent and committed no breach of covenant. The landlord gave six months’ notice.
Held: The notice was good. At common law a tenancy for life is an estate of freehold, and can only be created by deed and not by parol.
It would be ‘inconsistent with, and repugnant to’ a ‘tenancy from year to year’ that ‘it should not be determinable at the pleasure of either party giving the regular notice’.
Lord Ellenborough CJ said: ‘What estate the defendant was contended to have? And whether he were not in this dilemma; that either his estate might enure for life, at his option; and then according to Lord Coke such an estate would, in legal contemplation, be an estate for life; which could not be created by parol: or if not for life, being for no assignable period, it must operate as a tenancy from year to year; in which case it would be inconsistent with, and repugnant to the nature of such an estate, that it should not be determinable at the pleasure of either party giving the regular notice.’
Lawrence J said: ‘If this interest be not determinable so long as the tenant complies with the terms of the agreement, it would operate as an estate for life; which can only be created by deed.
The notion of a tenancy from year to year, the lessor binding himself not to give notice to quit, which was once thrown out by Lord Mansfield, has been long exploded.’


Lord Ellenborough CJ, Lawrence J


(1807) 8 East 165, [1807] EngR 124, (1807) 103 ER 305



Cited by:

CitedBinions v Evans CA 27-Jan-1972
The plaintiffs had bought a cottage subjecty to a tenancy to the defendant. They sought possession saying that she held under a tenancy at will. It was a renancy for her life but described as a tenancy at will. The judge had held that the other . .
AppliedIn re Midland Railway Co’s Agreement, Charles Clay and Sons Ltd v British Railways Board CA 1971
The lease agreement created a term for six months from 10 June 1920 and was to continue from half year to half year until determined. It was to be determined by three months’ written notice given by either party to the other provided that the . .
CitedPrudential Assurance Co Ltd v London Residuary Body and Others HL 16-Jul-1992
The parties signed a memorandum of agreement to let a strip of land from 1930 until determined as provided, but the only provision was that the lease would continue until the land was needed for road widening and two months’ notice was given. The . .
See AlsoBrowne v Warner 23-Jul-1807
. .
See AlsoBrowne v Warner 25-Jan-1808
. .
CitedJoseph v Nettleton Road Housing Co-Operative Ltd CA 16-Mar-2010
The respondent was a mutual housing co-operative, and the claimant its tenant. The tenant kept a dog in the premises without the consent of the other tenants in breach of the terms of the lease. A notice to quit was served on him. His tenancy was . .
CitedBerrisford v Mexfield Housing Co-Operative Ltd SC 9-Nov-2011
The tenant appealed against an order granting possession. The tenancy, being held of a mutual housing co-operative did not have security but was in a form restricting the landlord’s right to recover possession, and the tenant resisted saying that it . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.259538