||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 32 (Oct)
||Court of Appeal, Civil Division
Mummery, Jacob and Neuberger LJJ
||Piers Hill (instructed by Lister Croft, Leeds) for the landlords.
||Nigel Clayton (instructed by Levi & Co, Leeds) for the tenants.
||Amanda Savage (instructed by Crutes LLP, Newcastle-upon-Tyne) for the Pt 20 defendant.
||3 October 2006
Option - Option to purchase - Tenant's option conferred by lease - Specific performance - Whether option validly exercised pursuant to notice requirement - Whether judge erring in ordering specific performance.
The tenants had validly exercised their option to purchase the freehold reversion of the property, conferred by the tenancy agreement, where the solicitor had written to the landlords purporting to exercise the option. Even though the letter had not expressly referred to the three-month notice period, it had referred to the option clause, and it had therefore sufficed as notice under the option clause. There were no grounds for interfering with the judge's exercise of discretion to order specific performance. The landlords had been unable to point to any prejudice or equity to justify denying the tenants the performance of the contract. The landlords could not complain of delay in seeking specific performance when they had disputed the notice and had denied the existence of a valid contract.
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