Tenancy

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The term tenancy denotes a right of occupation of land, in a very general sense, where the tenant has a 'lesser', subordinate title to that of the landlord, and where there are obligations between the landlord and the tenant. A central obligation on the tenant is usually to pay Rent. The rent itself may be notional, but it unusual to find a tenancy where there is no rent at all. These days legal tenancies are always of less than indefinite duration (although they can be very long). Tenancies range in formality from short, informal arrangements that are associated with no real Title in their own right -- and so are very close to licences (see: Licence) -- to those whose title can be sold or inherited, and confer absolute exclusivity of possession (e.g., Leasehold tenancies). Authors vary in their willingness to use the term 'tenancy' when referring to the extreme opposites of derived title, e.g, 2000-year leases and licences. The distinction between a tenancy and a licence is blurred, as is the distinction between a lease and other forms of tenancy. Some authors use the word 'tenancy' as a synonym for 'lease', and would thus say that a licence is not a tenancy. Others use the term in a more general sense, covering any occupation for rent.

Land and Property Law