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Meyer v Riddick

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Meyer v Riddick (1990) 60 P & CR 50

Joint tenancy and the interests of beneficiaries under a trust in the property.

Facts

Three landlords, Mr. Riddick, Mr. Naylor and Mrs. Naylor, owned property as joint tenants. Mr. Meyer was a tenant; the landlords gave notice refusing the grant of a new tenancy on the basis that the landlords intend to occupy the premises for a business carried on by Mr. Riddick and Mr. Naylor under Section 30(1)(g) of the Landlord and Tenancy Act 1954, relying on their interest under a trust as a beneficiary under Section 41(2) of the Act. The tenant refused and applied to the court for tenancy renewal.

Issue

The question arose as to whether the two joint tenants, Mr. Riddick and Mr. Naylor, could rely on their interests under a trust as beneficiaries under Section 41(2) of the Act in order to occupy the premises as exclusive joint tenants, to the exclusion of Mr. Meyer’s tenancy.

Held

The Court held that if landlords intend to exclusively occupy premises in reliance on their interest under a trust as beneficiaries under Section 41(2), they must show that they are enabled to occupy the premises by virtue of this interest for the specific purposes for which they intend to occupy. In this case, Mr. Riddick and Mr. Naylor were relying on their beneficial interests to occupy as exclusive joint tenants in a business to the exclusion of Mrs. Naylor. The two joint tenants cannot effectuate their intention and power under Section 41(2) to exclusively occupy the premises and thereby exclude Mrs. Naylor from also exercising her rights as a joint tenant. Thus, the ability of the two joint tenants to hold exclusive right of occupation is curtailed by the existence of Mrs. Naylor rights, and they were unable exclusively occupy and exclude other tenants under the Act.

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