Newham LBC v Thomas Van Staden

This case affirms the view that only fixed term leases can be excluded from security of tenure. The landlord granted a lease for a fixed term. At the end of the fixed term, the tenancy continued on a quarterly periodic basis. The landlord and tenant tried to exclude security of tenure from the letting. So the landlord served the customary notice and the tenant made the declaration. The fixed term expired and the landlord wanted the premises back so it served notice to quit. The Court of Appeal held that the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 protected the tenancy. The exclusion process was invalid as a landlord and tenant can only exclude a fixed-term lease from security. Section 38(4) of the 1954 Act says that the exclusion process applies only to "a term of years certain". However, a periodic lease does not qualify as a term of years certain. The same is true for a letting for a fixed term that becomes a periodic one when the fixed term ends such as the one in this case. The landlord should have granted a lease for a fixed term but with provision for break rights. Either party could have terminated the lease before the end of the term by exercising the break.