A user license
is the personal right held by an individual for the non-exclusive use of property belonging to another person. By granting a Licence, one owner transfers the rights to use the property to another.
A license is similar to an easement and a lease since it transfers a right to use an asset, but it
is distinct from the two. Similar to an easement or lease, a license is an agreement. However, a license is often oral rather than written. As with an easement, a licensed property is called the service building. Unlike an easement, a license does not have a perpetual life and does not need to have a specific expiration date like a lease.
In addition, unlike an easement, a license is a personal right and therefore does not have dominant building who benefits from the license. Therefore, a license does not belong to any property and can be revocable at any time.
Take the example of an owner who contracts for development work on his property. The owner allows the construction company to store excess excavated soil on one of the owner’s adjacent lots until the construction company can transport it.
While the earth remains on the wasteland, an adventurous biker enters the property and is injured while performing stunts on the excavated earth. The injured biker claims that the construction company is a licensee who is not in possession of the building and is therefore responsible for his injuries.
The construction company claims to have a recreational use immunity since they have an interest in the property as a licensee with the right to use it for the agreed purpose.
Concrete example: use as a personal privilege
A broker wants to increase the visibility of his business to the public through billboards.
The broker has a friend and business acquaintance who owns vacant property adjacent to a freeway. The owner is prepared to allow the broker to place a notice board on his vacant lot.
The broker and the owner agree orally authorizing the broker to install a notice board for the exclusive use of the broker. It is agreed that the broker can enter and leave the property at will to install and maintain the display panel.
No time limit is specified for maintaining the notice board on the property, and no fees or other compensation is established. Importantly, the owner does not give up any control over the real estate since he does not give the broker any other right to use the property.
Have the broker and landlord established a landlord / tenant relationship or easement?
Or! The broker only received a permit to use the property from the owner.
Unlike an owner / tenant relationship or an easement, a license to use real estate is a personal lien, independent of any property owned by the broker. Thus, the use is not transferable to others by the broker and, except contrary or unfair agreement, is revocable at any time by the owner.
In this example, the holder of any interest in the property is exonerated from any liability for injuries suffered by others resulting from their recreational use of private property.
The land interest exempt from liability can be either possessor or without possession. Since the license holder has a non-possessory interest in the property, he also enjoys immunity from recreational use even if the owner remains in possession and control of the land and the license holder. license has only a personal non-exclusive right to use the property.
Thus, the construction company is not responsible for injuries that occur during the recreational use of the property by the motorcyclist, as the construction company holds an interest in the property under their license to use.
License vs lease
A license is often confused with a to rent. A to rent confers a right of possession over real estate which allows the tenant to prohibit others from occupying the leased premises.
A license to use another person’s real estate is a personal privilege held by an individual. However, a license is neither personal nor real property.
In addition, a license does not belong to one person and is not linked to adjoining real estate. Thus, a license, not being a good or susceptible of ownership, cannot be transferred to the successors or assigns of the license holder.
Several characteristics distinguish a license from a lease. Unlike a lease, a license can have:
- no writing to formalize the agreement;
- no rent payment;
- no specific location on or within the property where the use will take place;
- no intention to transfer a leasehold domain;
- no right to exclude others;
- no termination date; and
- a termination date set at the option of the owner, unless the license is irrevocable.
History of the term
“Licence” finds its root in the old French term “Licence, from the end of the 14e century meaning “freedom, liberty, power, possibility; permission “, and the Latin term,”Licence”, Meaning freedom, freedom; unrestricted freedom, libertinism, presumption.
It was first used to refer to a feeling of formal (usually written) authorization from one individual or entity in an authoritative position to another to do something (get married, hunt, drive, etc.). This usage first appeared at the beginning of the 15the century.