LAND/PROPERTY LAW: BERTIE’S CASE

Bertie owns Totleigh Towers, a large house. Jeeves has worked for Bertie for many years and occupies, rent-free, an apartment on the first floor (The Old Nursery). In addition to cooking and cleaning for Bertie, he does odd jobs around the house and tends to the gardens. As Bertie only uses a small part of the house, and the cost of maintaining Totleigh Towers is becoming prohibitive, he decides to convert the rest of the house into separate apartments to obtain an income to pay for repairs.
In April 2014, Bertie agrees to lease the East Wing to Gussie for 10 years, at a rent of £1000 per month.
Honoria and Bertie sign an ‘occupancy agreement’ in May 2014, allowing Honoria to occupy the North Tower for two years for £600 per month; she hates cleaning, so Bertie agrees that Jeeves will come once a week for two hours to clean the apartment and do other odd jobs. Honoria also agrees that Bertie can use the North Tower wine cellar to store his collection of vintage port.
Madeline lives in an apartment in The Old Clocktower. The arrangement began in June 2014, when it was agreed that Madeline could live in the apartment for two years, paying Bertie £500 per month. As Bertie and Madeline are old friends, neither of them felt the need to put anything in writing.
In June 2015, Roderick, a property developer, approaches Bertie and offers him an excellent price for Totleigh Towers. Tired of living in a draughty country house, Bertie is considering selling up and moving to the Bahamas.
Advise Jeeves, Gussie, Honoria and Madeline, who are worried that they will have to leave Totleigh Towers in the event of a sale.

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