Heslop v Burns: CA 1974

The defendants had lived in a house rent free for a long period. After the owner died, his executors sought possession saying the defendants were mere licencees. The defendants claimed a tenancy at will, and that the right now asserted was statute barred.
Held: There was no agreement, and no evidence of an intention to create a tenancy. The act of allowing them into possession was merely an act of bounty, and a licence only was created. Courts should nowadays be less inclined to find a tenancy at will.
The possession of a licensee can never be adverse.


Stamp, Roskill, and Scarman LJJ


[1974] 1 WLR 1241, [1974] 3 All ER 406


England and Wales


ApprovedFacchini v Bryson 1952
The court held that in all the reported cases where it was held that an agreement was a licence rather than a tenancy: ‘In all the cases where an occupier has been held to be a licensee there has been something in the circumstances, such as a family . .

Cited by:

CitedGoomti Ramnarace v Harrypersad Lutchman PC 21-May-2001
(Trinidad and Tobago) The defendant had gone into possession of land by consent, and many years later declined to leave. The claimant said the period of her adverse possession was insufficient but she claimed a tenancy. The claimant asserted that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Housing

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.183130