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Street v Mountford [1985] UKHL 4 (02 May 1985)

  • Probably the most used and most famous property legal case (Case Law) which decided inter alia the distinction between a lease and a license in relation to exclusive possession for rent.
  • "You can call a four pronged instrument a spade but", a subjective Judge will argue that, "in the eyes of an objective bystander", sat atop a Clapham omnibus, "it is a spade".  The prefix 'omni-' equates to everyone, hence the average man and average op pinion analogy.
  • This is a colourful mixture of a couple of legal cases.
  • Lord Bowen's 150 year old Clapham omnibus analogy has been widely adopted as a legal term to describe a 'reasonable man'.
  • I.e., it is not what you call an agreement that matters, but what it is in fact and thus in law, seen through a 'reasonable' person's eyes!
Published: 11 November 2013 Last Updated: 17 November 2021