Complex case relating to non-existence of a tenancy agreement

In a lengthy, highly litigious case, John persuaded a judge against the balance of evidence that the living arrangements did not amount to a tenancy.

John’s defendant client had, at the request of a mutual friend, allowed the claimant to stay in his property. The claimant had paid monies to the defendant, which were argued to be rent, and therefore created a tenancy.

There had been more than 10 hearings before John was instructed. At court, he went back to basic principles in Street v Mountford, went through 30 years of cases, and argued forcefully and at length that the arrangements in question could not amount to a tenancy. There were lengthy questions from the judge as to the interpretation of sections of the Civil Procedure Rules, with the judge originally feeling that the CPR supported the claimant’s position.

John’s lengthy arguments meant that the judge decided to reserve judgement to a later date, to consider the legal position “in light of the arguments”.

The judge’s final comment at trial was “I am not sure that Mr Nee’s interpretation of the rules and cases is correct”. On giving judgement, however, the claim against John’s client was dismissed with full costs.