Bairstow Eves (Securities) Ltd v Ripley: CA 1992

The lease conferred on the tenant a right to break the leases on notice ‘if the tenant shall perform and observe all the covenants and obligations herein on the tenant’s part contained’. It had failed to repaint the premises during the year before the exercise of the clause. Counsel for the tenant submitted that the condition precedent should be regarded as satisfied unless at the relevant date there were breaches of covenant for which substantial damages would be recoverable (relying on Bass Holdings).
Held: The submission was rejected. The failure was fatal to the tenant’s exercise of his rights under the lease. Scott LJ: ‘There is no authority that permits the court to rewrite the condition precedent so as to exclude from account a subsisting breach on the ground that only nominal damages are recoverable.’ and ‘The court is not entitled to rewrite that covenant [to paint the premises in the last year of the term] or to presume to inform Mr Ripley that the breach of the covenant was only trivial and should be ignored for the purposes of the condition precedent.’


Scott LJ, Sir Michael Kerr and Parker LJ


(1993) 65 PandCR 220, [1992] 2 EGLR 47


England and Wales


CitedBass Holdings Ltd v Morton Music Ltd CA 1987
The tenant had the option to take a further lease on giving written notice of their desire ‘if it shall have . . performed and observed the several stipulations on its part to be performed and observed up to the date of [the notice]’. The question . .

Cited by:

CitedLittman and Another v Aspen Oil (Broking) Ltd CA 19-Dec-2005
A lease had been granted with a break clause, which the tenant exercised. The Landlord said it had not complied with its obligations and was not free to exercise that clause. The clause had included the word ‘landlord’ where it should have read . .
CitedFitzroy House Epworth Street (No. 1) Ltd and Another v Financial Times Ltd CA 31-Mar-2006
The defendant tenant sought to exercise a break clause in the lease. The landlord said that the notice was deficient because the tenant had failed ‘materially to comply with’ its repairing obligations. The judge found the cost of repairs were . .
CitedLegal and General Assurance Society Ltd v Expeditors International (Uk) Ltd CA 24-Jan-2007
Leases contained break clauses which the tenant purported to exercise. The landlord replied that they were ineffective because the tenant had not complied with his repair covenants. The dispute appeared settled after negotiations, and the settlement . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 01 May 2022; Ref: scu.236553