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.
Held: The refusal of consent to assign a lease was unreasonable in the particular facts of this case. The landlord was motivated by a desire to obtain a commercial benefit which was collateral to the lease, in the sense that the lease did not confer any right upon the landlord to terminate the lease. The court also considered that the use of the power to refuse consent for such a purpose was a derogation from the right of assignment conferred upon the tenant.
Kay LJ observed that a landlord might reasonably refuse consent to an assignment because of the use to which the tenant proposed to put the premises, even though that use was not forbidden by the lease.


Kay LJ


[1896] 2 QB 241


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedAshworth 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 . .
CitedAshworth Frazer Ltd v Gloucester City Council CA 3-Feb-2000
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 . .
CitedNCR Ltd v Riverland Portfolio No.1 Ltd ChD 16-Jul-2004
The tenant complained that the landlord had unreasonably delayed approval of a proposed underletting.
Held: The court had to bear in mind that the consent was to an underlease, and that therefore there was no privity between the landlord and . .
AppliedHoulder 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 31 July 2022; Ref: scu.187992