Bromley Park Garden Estates Ltd v Moss: CA 1982

When considering whether to give consent to an assignment of a lease, the landlord need consider only his own interests.
Slade LJ said: ‘I find it rather more surprising that, when the landlords came subsequently to question the validity of the assignment in such circumstances, they should be free to rely on reasons for their refusal which had not been mentioned to the tenant, or even hinted at, either before or in the letter of 16 September 1980 which contained the outright refusal. In the absence of authority, I would have thought there was much to be said for the view that a landlord who, by stating to the tenant one reason only for refusing his consent to an assignment, that reason being a demonstrably bad one, provokes a tenant into assigning without consent, should not thereafter be allowed to rely on unstated reasons for the purpose of attacking the validity of the assignment. However, authorities . . appear to establish that the court, in considering questions of reasonableness or otherwise in this context, is not confined to the reasons expressly put forward by the landlord prior to the date of the refusal.’
Dunn LJ referred to the case law and said: ‘In both cases the withholding of consent to the assignments by the landlords were held not to have been unreasonable. In both cases the landlords were seeking to uphold the status quo and to preserve the existing contractual arrangements provided by the leases. In both cases, the landlords reasonably believed that they would suffer detriment if the assignments were made. It is true that in deciding the question of unreasonableness the courts did not confine themselves to narrow considerations as to the personality of the proposed assignee or the subject matter of the lease, as had been done in some of the older cases, and it may be that the passage in Woodfall was intended to draw attention to that, but there is nothing in the cases to indicate that a landlord is entitled to refuse his consent in order to acquire a commercial benefit for himself by putting into effect proposals outside the contemplation of the lease under consideration, and to replace the contractual relations created by the lease by some alternative arrangements more advantageous to the landlord, even though this would be in accordance with good estate management.’

Slade LJ, Dunn LJ
[1982] 2 All ER 890, [1982] 1 WLR 1019
Citing:
CitedWest Layton Ltd v Ford; West Layton Ltd v Joseph and Another CA 12-Feb-1979
When considering whether to consent to an assignment of a lease, a landlord need consider only his own interests. . .

Cited by:
CitedInternational 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 . .
CitedFootwear 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 . .
CitedNorwich 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 . .
CitedGo West Ltd v Spigarolo and Another CA 31-Jan-2003
The tenant applied for a licence to assign the lease under section 1. The landlord refused consent, but the parties continued to negotiate. The tenant argued that the landlord’s continuation of negotiations showed the earlier counter-notice to have . .
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 . .
ConsideredOrlando Investments v Grosvenor Estate Belgravia 1989
The lease contained a tenant’s covenant to repair, and not to assign without the landlord’s consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. T, himself an assignee, and therefore not liable on the covenant after assignment, sought consent from . .
CitedNorwich Union Life Insurance Society v Shopmoor Ltd ChD 10-Apr-1997
The tenants had applied for a licence to assign the property. The landlords had prevaricated, and the judge found their delay unreasonable and that it amounted to an unreasonable withholding of consent. They now appealed.
Held: The 1988 Act . .
CitedNorwich Union Life Insurance Society v Shopmoor Ltd ChD 10-Apr-1997
The tenants had applied for a licence to assign the property. The landlords had prevaricated, and the judge found their delay unreasonable and that it amounted to an unreasonable withholding of consent. They now appealed.
Held: The 1988 Act . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

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Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.199281