Introduction to this document

Tenancy at will

If you want to allow someone to occupy your business premises whilst the new lease is sorted out, consider using this form of agreement to protect your position.


Sometimes, when you’re renting out business property, there’s a need for a short agreement just to tie you over until the main contract is signed. This is the beauty of using a tenancy at will. There’s no fixed or minimum period and it’s entirely your call if you want to end the arrangement with immediate effect.


A tenancy at will is not to be used as a substitute for a lease nor as a ruse to get around the effect of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the Act”). It’s no more than a short-term fix to be used either where you’ve got someone who needs to occupy your premises in a hurry prior to the lease being signed or where you’ve got an existing tenant who’s “holding over” after a fixed-term lease which is contracted out of the Act, has just come to an end.


To ensure that you don’t inadvertently give your tenant a protected tenancy under the Act, your agreement shouldn’t create the impression that the tenant has the right to stay for a fixed or minimum period and/or doesn’t specify either that the rent’s payable in advance.