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Licences

This page deals with the distinction between leases and licences in the commercial context; and the termination of licences.

The two principal commercial situations in which the distinction between a lease and a licence has been discussed is that of advertising hoardings and car parking spaces.


Advertising hoardings

Clear Channel UK Ltd v Manchester City Council
[2005] EWCA Civ 1304.

Facts

Agreement to allow a company to erect and maintain 13 large advertising displays at various prominent sites in Manchester owned by the Council.

Each advertising display consisted of a substantial superstructure in the shape of a large 'M'. The superstructure was fixed to a rectangular concrete base which was embedded in the ground. The position where the base of each hoarding should go was marked out by agreement on the ground. The company argued that on its true construction the agreement created a tenancy of those areas: that is to say, a tenancy of the land occupied by the concrete bases.

The issue: Whether the effect of the contract was to grant the company a tenancy or merely a licence?

Held:

Licence.

As was conceded by counsel for the company:
    "..it is of the essence of a right of exclusive possession, and hence of a tenancy, that the area or areas of land over which the right is said to exist should be capable of precise identification at the date when the right is said to be created. Accordingly if the Agreement, on its true construction, does not sufficiently identify the land in respect of which a tenancy is said to hav ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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