• In the case of Crawley BC v Ure [1996] 1 Q.B. 13, it was found that notice to quit by one of two joint tenants was effective to terminate the tenancy, even without the consent of the other tenant.

Facts of the Case

  • D and his wife were joint tenants of a council flat. The wife left and applied to C for assistant or accommodation as a homeless person.
  • Since her interest in the flat prevented her from being declared homeless, C advised her that she could terminate the tenancy by providing notice of her intention to quit. She did so without informing D.
  • D refused to leave the flat and C sought a possession order for the flat. This was initially granted by the judge, leading D to appeal the decision.


  • Could a tenancy be terminated by one joint tenant providing notice to quit without the consent of the other joint tenant?
  • Did D need to be consulted by C as the beneficiary to a property held on trust before the exercise of any powers vested in C as a trustee?

Held by Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

  • Appeal dismissed-While the property was held on trust for sale under s36 of the Law of Property Act 1925, notification that the wife did not want the tenancy to continue did not amount to a positive act which could amount to a breach of trust. As such, C did not rely on a wrongful act in obtaining the possession order.

Glidewell L.J.

  • Both C and D accept that Monk’s Case [1992] 1 A.C. 478 is binding authority for the notion that, in principle, a notice to quit given by one of two joint tenants without the consent of the other can successfully terminate the tenancy.
  • D’s argument that the giving of notice that the wife did not want the tenancy to continue was an act sufficient to bring it under s26(3) of the 1925 Act, which would require consultation on behalf of the wife with D, was rejected.
  • The legal principle arising in this case would apply to all periodic tenancies, not just ones akin to D’s situation.
  • “We cannot carve out an exception from the general law which is to apply only to tenants of residential property let by local authorities or similar authorities. In my judgment, therefore, Mr. Berry’s argument fails at this critical point. We need not therefore express any opinion about his further detailed argument…” [25F].

Hobhouse L.J.

  • Monk’s Case characterized a periodic joint tenancy as being held on trust for sale.
  • “The position in law is that the tenancy at any given time has no greater life than the period up to the time when the next notice can be given and would terminate. It requires an act of will to continue the tenancy beyond that date” [26F].
  • The giving of notice of intention to quit was an indication that an act of will was not going to occur, not a positive act.