Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2014] All ER (D) 129 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2014] EWCA Civ 18
Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division

Lady Justice Hallett, Lord Justice Sullivan and Mr Justice Arnold

Representation Jonathan Seitler QC (instructed by Thrings LLP) for the claimant.
  Edward Cole (instructed by TLT LLP) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 21 January 2014


Landlord and tenant - Lease - Variation - Effect of variation - Lease of commercial premises - Defendant being lessee's surety - Lessor and lessee subsequently entering licence permitting lessee to carry out extension works to demised premises - Defendant having no knowledge of licence - Claimant purchasing reversion of lease - Lessee entering administration and claimant seeking to enforce surety obligations against defendant - Judge finding defendant being released from obligations by reason of variation of lease - Whether licence having increased lessee's obligations under lease to have prejudiced defendant - Whether licence falling within proviso to lease rendering defendant liable as surety.

The Case

Landlord and tenant Lease. When a lessee went into administration, the claimant lessor sought to recover unpaid rent from the defendant surety. The judge found that a licence to alter which had been granted to the lessee without the defendant's knowledge had amounted to a variation of the lease which had had the clear potential to increase the lessee's obligations. Accordingly the rule in Holme v Brunskill had applied and the defendant was discharged from its obligations. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant's appeal as the judge, on the true construction of the lease, had been correct.

Practice Areas

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