The court considered the construction of a rent review clause in a lease. Lord Denning MR said: ‘So I think these rent review clauses are to be construed according to their natural meaning. The clause in the present case says that the increased rent, when ascertained, ‘shall be substituted from such date’, that is from September 21 1969. It was, it is true, not ascertained until March 23 1973; but once ascertained it is substituted from September 21 1969. It must be paid from that date. I know this means that it operates retrospectively. But that is the plain intention of the clause. And effect must be given to it.’ and
‘It is time to get away from the medieval concept of rent. That appears from a passage in Holdsworth, A History of English Law, vol. VII (1900), p 262 . . . in modern law, rent is not conceived of as a thing, but rather as a payment which a tenant is bound by his contract to make to his landlord for the use of the land.
The time and manner of the payment is to be ascertained according to the true construction of the contract, and not by reference to out-dated relies of medieval law.’
Sir Eric Sachs said: ‘Whatever the position last century, the word ‘rent’ today can often simply refer to any contractual sum to which a landlord becomes entitled for the use of his land.’
Lord Denning MR, Sir Eric Sachs
 1 WLR 728
England and Wales
Cited – Scottish and Newcastle Plc v Raguz CA 6-Mar-2007
The claimant was the original tenant under two 99 year underleases granted in 1967, and assigned them to the defendant who then himself assigned them. The eventual assignee had become insolvent. The landlord recovered the rents from the claimant who . .
Cited – Hussain v Mehlman CC 5-Mar-1992
(County Court) The defendant landlord granted the plaintiff a three year assured shorthold tenancy. He now appealed a finding that he was in breach of an implied covenant to maintain the space heating, and otherwise. The tenant had returned the . .
Approved – United Scientific Holdings v Burnley Borough Council HL 1978
The House was asked whether a failure by a lessor to keep strictly to the timetable laid down in a rent review clause in a lease necessarily deprived the lessor of the benefit of the rent review.
Held: A stipulation as to time in an option . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 October 2021; Ref: scu.249876