Autumn Training Day – The Forme of a very perfect Lease (1543)

 

What can a sixteenth century lease teach us about twenty-first century landlord and tenant problems?

Mark Wonnacott QC, Maitland Chambers

Taken from ‘A new boke of presidentes in the maner of a register, wherein is comprehended the very trade of makyng all maner evydence and instruments of practyse ryght commodyous and necessary for every man to knowe’ written and compiled by Thomas Phayer (1510-1560).

Parties

This indenture made between John Morton of Hornchurch in the County of Essex, Gentleman, on that one part, and Henry Rose of the same, Esquire, on that other part.

Witnesseth, that the said John, the day of making hereof, hath granted, demised, betaken and letten to farm, and by this indenture doth grant, demise, betake and to farm let, unto the said Henry.

Premises

All that his manor place called Moreton Hall with all lands, tenements, dove- houses, barns, stalls, orchards, gardens, ponds and waters with appurtenances to the said manor belonging or appertaining, set, lying and being in the Parish of Hornchurch aforesaid.

Habendum

To have and to hold the aforesaid manor, lands, tenements, dovehouses, barns, stalls, orchards, gardens, ponds and waters, and other premises, with appurtenances, to the said Henry, to his executors and assigns.

Term

From the feast of Saint Micheal next coming after the date of this indenture unto the end and term of twenty years, from thence next ensuring, and fully to be complete and ended.

Redendum

Yielding and paying therefore yearly during the said term, to the said John, his heirs or assigns, twenty pounds of good and lawful money of England, at four times of the year, that is to say, at the feasts of the nativity of our lord God, the annunciation of our lady the virgin, the nativity of St. John the Baptist, and of St. Michael the archangel, by even portions.

Distress

Yielding and paying therefore yearly during the said term, to the said John, his heirs or assigns, twenty pounds of good and lawful money of England, at four times of the year, that is to say, at the feasts of the nativity of our lord God, the annunciation of our lady the virgin, the nativity of St. John the Baptist, and of St. Michael the archangel, by even portions.

Forfeiture

And if it shall happen the said yearly rent of twenty pounds to be behind, unpaid, in part or in all, over or after any term of payment, thereof aforesaid, in which it ought to be paid by the space of a quarter of a year, and lawfully asked, and no sufficient distress then there can be found, that then and all times after it shall be lawful to the said John, his heirs and assigns, into all the said manor, lands, tenements and other premises, with appurtenances, wholly for to re-enter and the same to have again, retain and repossessed, as in their former estate and the said Rose, his executors and assigns thereof utterly to expel, put out, and avoid, this indenture or anything therein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

Repair

And the said John covenants and grants by this indenture, that he or his heirs, to the said manor, lands, tenements and other premises with appurtenances, mete and sufficiently shall repair, sustain and maintain, and against wind and rain shall be make defendable, when and as often as need shall require, during the said term, and all hedges, ditches, and defences belonging to the said manor with appurtenances, which shall be at the cost and charge of the said Henry, his executors or assigns all times during the said term.

Yield Up

And the same so sufficiently made, repaired and amended, in the end of the said term, shall surrender and deliver up, to this said John, his heirs or assigns.

Outgoings

And the said Henry covenants and grants by this indenture that he, his executors or assigns, at their like cost and charge, will bear and pay all manner of quitrents and out charges, which shall be due and going out of the aforesaid manor, lands and tenements, with the appurtenances at all times, during the said term.

Bote And the said John covenants and grants by this indenture, that it shall be lawful to the said Henry to his executors and assigns, to have and to take, in and upon the lands before letten, competent and sufficient firebote, cart bote, plough bote, and hedge bote, to be occupied and spent in and upon the lands and tenements as aforesaid, at all time during the said term.

Quiet Enjoyment

And further the said John covenants and grants by this indenture that he and his heirs, the aforesaid manor, land, tenements and all other with their appurtenances, to the said Henry, his executors and assigns, for the yearly rent as aforesaid, and under the other covenants rehearsed above, [will] against all people, warrant and defend, during the aforesaid terms of the years by this indenture.

Attestation

In witness whereof . . . etc