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Property: Agreement to lease

Property: Agreement to lease

By Law Institute Journal

Landlord & Tenant 


An agreement to lease is as enforceable as a lease. Property lawyers deal with leases all the time; sometimes in the context of a relationship between landlord and tenant, sometimes where a property that is to be sold is leased; and sometimes in more obtuse ways, such as in the assessment of duty or tax. Usually, such leases will be in a written form and the terms of the lease will be readily identifiable. However, unlike contracts for the sale of land which the law requires to be in writing and signed by the parties, the law has long recognised that a lease relationship can be created in a less formal way than a written and signed lease. Hence, courts will enforce a lease if the court can be satisfied that the parties reached an agreement to lease, and this has given rise to the mantra “an agreement to lease is as enforceable as a lease”.

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