When taking studio space an artist will either be offered a lease or a licence. The essential difference between these two documents is that a lease may confer on the artist the right to require its landlord to grant a further lease at the end of the term, whereas a licence to occupy will not.
In the case of a lease the landlord and the tenant can agree that the tenant’s right to remain at the end of the term will be excluded from the lease.
This is explained in the article ‘Wapping Blues’, but the procedure no longer involves an application to the County Court for a Court Order. You should also be aware that just because a document is headed with the words “licence” this does not necessarily mean that the Courts will treat this as a licence to occupy, as the Courts will examine the actual contents of the document and may well decide that the artist has a lease after all. If in doubt specialised legal advice should always be sought.
It happened to artists in New York and Chicago in the sixties, and it’s beginning to happen in London today. Artists seek out and find low-cost studio space in neglected inner city areas, move in, pre …