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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10399
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have been renting approximately 1.2 acres of land and have

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I have been renting approximately 1.2 acres of land for 40yrs and have been advised that the owners would like to sell it and have advised that that as I am the tenant with life interest in the plot I would be able to purchase it from them with a saving of 30%. I consider the land to be over priced and would like to know if have the right, because of the above, to keep renting the land.

Could you please explain your situation a little more? In particular why you are renting, if you have a life interest. Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am renting because the cost has not risen for over16/17yrs and it is only £25.00yrly. I have asked in the past if I could purchase it but was always refused.

Thank you.

You don’t have a lifetime interest. What you have is a licence/tenancy at will although you would probably be entitled to a lease for a fixed period. It depends whether you want the argument in court and whether they want to let you have a lease or not.

They could give you notice to quit and you could defend it on the basis that you had exclusive possession and therefore you have a lease. The leading case is Street v Mountford.

However, you may not want the argument because the rent which would apply would be the market rent which is probably going to be more than £25 per year.

The fact that you may have been renting for so long, does not give you any right to buy the property. If the seller is willing to sell that you are willing to buy, the seller is able to ask for any price it likes which can be low, high, or extortionate.

Assuming that you would be buying at the market price, it depends on whether it’s worthwhile paying whatever that price is compared to the next 10 years for example which is going to cost you £250 also bearing in mind that they could increase the rent to whatever the market rent is..

Can I clarify else anything for you?

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Best wishes.


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