A sought confirmation that it had successfully rescinded a contract for the purchase of a leasehold property from L. Either party was to be able to rescind, if consent to the assignment had not obtained before three days before completion. There appeared to be confusion as to whether consent had been indicated between the solicitors.
Held: Words in a letter ‘subject to licence’ had different effect where there was an existing legal relationship between the parties. The consent had been given sufficiently to comply with the contract, even though informal and conditional. The seller was not in breach, and the buyer was not free to rescind.
Lord Justice Auld, Lord Justice Ward, And, Lord Justice Robert Walker
Gazette 11-Apr-2002,  EWCA Civ 177,  1 WLR 2149
England and Wales
Cited – Bickel v Courtenay Investments (Nominees) Limited ChD 1984
Cited – Norwich Union Life Insurance Society v Shopmoor Ltd ChD 1999
Shopmoor’s predecessors demised premises for 150 years at a yearly rent of andpound;100 on payment of a premium. A covenant provided that the tenant was not to assign or sublet without the landlord’s consent, not to be unreasonably withheld or . .
Cited – Footwear Corporation Ltd v Amplight Properties Ltd ChD 1-Apr-1998
The plaintiff was tenant of premises under a lease granted by the defendant’s predecessor in title. He vacated the premises in July 1996, and on 17 November 1997 wrote asking the defendant for a licence to sublet them to a pet shop business. The . .
Cited – City Hotels Group Ltd v Total Property Investments Ltd 6-Jul-1984
The landlords had received a request for a consent to a proposed assignment of the lease. They did not, in terms, refused consent, but had not given it notwithstanding a considerable passage of time and lengthy correspondence. The court was asked . .
Cited – Mount Eden Land Ltd v Prudential Assurance Co Ltd CA 12-Nov-1996
The Court warned against extending the ‘magic’ of the ‘subject to contract’ label into the realm of unilateral licences. The question was whether a landlord had granted licence to the tenant to carry out alterations. The letter relied on as . .
Cited – Venetian Glass Gallery Ltd v Next Properties Ltd. 1989
The court considered the significance of a reservation that a letter was sent ‘subject to licence’. After considering case law: ‘All three go to show that there is a distinction recognised by the law between the relationships, such as those between . .
Cited – Alchemy Estates Ltd v Astor and Another ChD 5-Nov-2008
The parties disputed the effect of a contract between them for the sale of a leasehold property. After exchange the solicitors failed to obtain the landlord’s consent to the proposed assignment as required by the lease. In the meantime the proposed . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 March 2021; Ref: scu.167704