Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 320 (Jul)
Court: Nicholas Strauss QC sitting as a deputy judge of the High Court

Chancery Division

Representation James Aldridge (instructed by Stephenson Harwood) for the claimant.
  Roger Bartlett (instructed by Porter Crossick) for defendant.
Judgment Dates: 23 July 2002


Landlord and tenant - Assignment of lease - Consent to assignment - Claimant acquiring reversion of lease - Leaseholder wishing to assign lease to defendant - Claimant requesting guarantors for defendant - Leaseholder assigning lease without fulfilling request - Whether assignment in breach of covenant - Whether claimant unreasonably withholding consent - Whether defendant entitled to relief from forfeiture.

The Case

Under the terms of a lease to premises consisting of a retail shop there was an implied term that any request for guarantors had to be genuinely for the purpose of improving the landlords' financial security. They could not, in circumstances in which they were amply secured, request a large number of guarantors with the object of making it impossible for the tenant to comply and thus prevent assignment. Under the lease, the landlords were reserving to themselves the right to exercise their own judgment and to require such further security as they thought appropriate in the circumstances. Therefore, since it was clear, in the instant case, that the claimant's requirement for guarantors had not been met, it followed that an assignment made to the defendant had been made in breach of the lease.

Practice Areas

If you are a LexisLibrary subscriber you can read more about this case here.