As regards married women, before January 1st, 1883, their contracts were void, but women married since that date are under no disabilities as regards the disposal of their property, and are quite capable of entering into leases and making contracts binding on their separate estate; and women married before that date are practically in the same position as regards property acquired since 1882.

Other Persons under Disabilities

A convict cannot make a valid lease, but the court may appoint an administrator to deal with his property and grant leases for him.

A person of unsound mind is not prevented from taking a lease, but such lease is voidable by him in the same way as a lease made by him.

A man while drunk agreed at an auction to make a purchase of houses and land, and there is no doubt whatever that the court would have allowed him to repudiate his bargain when he regained his senses. But, as a matter of fact, when sober he affirmed the contract, repented of his bargain later on, and when sued for payment on the contract pleaded that he was drunk at the time he made it. The court held that, although he once had an option in the matter and might have cancelled his contract, he was now bound by his affirmation of it.


Corporations may make leases of their property and take leases in both cases by deed and under their common seal. It is a great mistake to regard the seal as a relic of an ignorant age. It is no such thing. The seal is the only authentic evidence of what the corporation has done or intends to do. The Crown is a corporation, and its leases are restricted to terms of thirty-one years or three lives. Most Crown, lands are now vested in the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, whose leases are restricted as above, but who may grant building leases for ninety-nine years. Colleges and universities are civil corporations whose powers of leasing formerly were unrestricted; but since the time of Elizabeth, and particularly in the last century, various acts have been passed limiting their powers of granting leases to terms not exceeding twenty-one years. The Charity Commissioners have power to authorise leases, and ecclesiastical corporations (which includes bishops and archbishops) can make leases with the consent of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The following are also authorised to make leases - trustees, executors and administrators, mortgagors and mortgagees in possession, agents on behalf of their principals, the trustee in bankruptcy, and liquidators.

The Parcels

In that part of the lease known as ' the parcels" the premises should be accurately described; such qualifying expressions as "containing 1oo acres be the same more or less" should be avoided whenever possible.

Things accidentally and temporarily severed from the thing demised will pass with it if essentially a part of it, as, for example, the doors of a house, although not in their places at the time. And in the same way anything obviously necessary for the enjoyment of the thing demised will pass with it. Such things are usually called easements of necessity.

Examples of such easements are the use of a drain, the use of a coal-shoot and water-pipes, the use of an artificial watercourse and the right to support. But the most important of these easements is " the way of necessity," which is a means of approach to the premises granted either by an undefined way or by such way as may be defined and selected by the grantor, the selection when once made being final. The tenant may also acquire an easement of necessity over adjacent property retained by the lessor.

The principle to be observed is this - that ' the grantor having given a thing with one hand, is not to take away the means of enjoying it with the other."

The general rule is that things on the premises pass by a demise of the premises as such, therefore the acceptance of the lease of a house does not raise an implied obligation to pay an additional sum for the fixtures.

However, in leases made since 1881, a conveyance of land includes and operates to convey with the land "all buildings, erections, fixtures, commons, hedges, ditches, fences, ways, waters, Watercourses, liberties, privileges, easements, rights and advantages whatsoever appertaining to the land or any part thereof." And a conveyance of land having houses or other buildings thereon operates to convey with them "all outhouses, erections, fixtures, cellars, areas, courts, courtyards,cisterns, sewers, gut' drains, ways, passages, lights, watercourses, liberties, privileges, casements," etc.


Certain rights and casements are impliedly reserved to the lessor, and others may expressly reserved by him. As an example of the former we may take the case of a right of support where such support is mutual between adjoining buildings. Another example is the right to use a common drain.

Sometimes when new buildings are being erected according to a definite plan,; contemporaneous leases of adjoining plots are made, each lessor is bound not to obstruct the lights essential to a building erected by another lessee, although there is no such express reservation in his lease. The commonest of all express reservations is the reservation of sporting rights, particularly the reservation of game. Where "trees" are excepted, the reservation does not include fruit-trees. And where "minerals" are excepted the lessor's right to work them will be subject to the lessee's right to have support to the surface.