To what extent did Lord Templeton’s speech in Street v Mountford and subsequent case law help to clarify the distinction between a lease and a licence?

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Delivering the lead judgement in the seminal case of Street v Mountford, we believe that Lord Templeton’s speech and subsequent case law have to a very great extent clarified the distinction between license and lease.

In his speech, Lord Templeton set out the principles to determine when a lease had been granted, and found that exclusive possession was the conclusive factor. This remains true to date, and its absence is the defining feature of a license. We run through the other case law which established the key requirements of a lease. Essentially, if it looks, walks and talks like a tenant, it can't be a lodger.


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