A landlord could not refuse to consent to an assignment because of a belief, even if reasonably based, that the intended use by the prospective assignee would be a breach of covenant under the lease. That did not mean that a landlord could not after giving consent, later insist fully on compliance with the covenant by the incoming tenant. Three principles govern refusing consent are: is the reason unconnected with the relationship of landlord and tenant, if not the court asks whether it is reasonable in the particular circumstances, and last, it is for the landlord to establish that his refusal is reasonable.
England and Wales
Appeal from – Ashworth Frazer Ltd v Gloucester City Council ChD 1-Apr-1999
It might be correct for a landlord to refuse consent to assignment where its objection to the proposed user was that it was generally undesirable, and there need be shown no necessary implication that the use would not be allowed by the lease. . .
Explained – International Drilling Fluids v Louisville Investments (Uxbridge) Ltd CA 20-Nov-1985
Consent to Assignment Unreasonably Withheld
The landlord had refused a proposed assignment of office premises from a tenant who had occupied the premises as its permanent offices, to a tenant who proposed to use the premises as serviced offices – that is, for short-term rent to others. The . .
Cited – Houlder Brothers and Co Ltd v Gibbs CA 1925
The landlord owned two adjoining commercial properties. The tenant of one proposed to assign the lease to the tenant of the adjoining property. The landlord refused consent on the ground that if the assignment went ahead, it was likely that the . .
Cited – Pimms Ltd v Tallow Chandlers Company CA 1964
The landlord had refused its consent to an assignment of the remaining term of a lease to a development company, which desired to acquire the lease because of its nuisance value, and to use its interest as a basis for inducing the landlord to enter . .
Cited – Bickel v Duke of Westminster CA 1977
The freeholder had refused consent to an assignment of the head lease of a house to a lady who, if she had become tenant under the head lease for five years, would have been entitled to buy the freehold from the Estate. The existing tenant was a . .
Cited – Bates v Donaldson CA 1896
The landlord had refused consent to an assignment of the lease to a respectable and responsible prospective tenant, for the reason that the landlord wished to place commercial pressure on the existing tenant to surrender the lease to the landlord. . .
Cited – Viscount Tredegar v Harwood HL 1929
Landlord’s reserved right to approve insurer
A covenant in the lease required the lessee to insure the premises with a nominated insurer or another insurer approved by the lessor. The lessor refused to approve a responsible and reputable insurer because of his wish that all tenants insure with . .
See Also – Ashworth Frazer Ltd v Gloucester City Council CA 20-Jan-1997
Binding – Killick v Second Covent Garden Property Co Ltd CA 1973
The belief of the landlord, however reasonable, that the proposed assignee intended to use the demised premises for a purpose which would give rise to a breach of the user covenant was not of itself a ground for withholding consent to assignment. . .
Appeal from – Ashworth Frazer Limited v Gloucester City Council HL 8-Nov-2001
A lease contained a covenant against assignment without the Landlord’s consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. The tenant asserted, pace Killick, that the landlord could not refuse consent on the grounds that the proposed tenant might . .
Cited – Sargeant, and Sargeant v Macepark (Whittlebury) Limited ChD 8-Jun-2004
The landlord granted the tenant a licence to make alterations to the property, but imposed conditions on the use to be made of the resulting premises. The tenant objected.
Held: The landlord was entitled when granting consent to take into . .
Cited – Lymington Marina Ltd v MacNamara and others CA 2-Mar-2007
A share in a marina had been inherited by one brother whose application to grant successive sub-lcences of it to the other two was rejected by the marina, who said that this was not permitted. The marina appealed a finding that it had to make its . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Landlord and Tenant
Updated: 28 May 2022; Ref: scu.180315