Hampstead and Suburban Properties Ltd v Diomedous: ChD 1969

A covenant against causing nuisance or annoyance is to be read to refer to wider nuisance than is referred to by the tort of nuisance. It is to be applied ‘according to robust and common sense standards’ Megarry J granted an interlocutory injunction to restrain the playing of musical instruments in breach of covenant, saying: ‘Thirdly, there is Doherty v Allman. I accept, of course, that Lord Cairns’ words were uttered in a case where what was in issue was a perpetual injunction and not an interlocutory injunction. Indeed, the words seem to be obiter, for no negative covenant was present in that case. But these considerations do not preclude the words from having any weight or cogency in relation to an interlocutory injunction. Where there is a plain and uncontested breach of a clear covenant not do a particular thing, and the convenantor promptly begins to do what he has promised not to do, then in the absence of special circumstances it seems to me that the sooner he is compelled to keep his promise the better. In such a case I do not think that the enforceability of the defendant’s obligation falls into two stages, so that between the issue of the writ and the trial the defendant will be enjoined only if that is dictated by the balance of convenience and so on, and not until the trial will Lord Cairns’ statement come into its own. Indeed, Lord Cairns’ express reference to ‘the balance of convenience or inconvenience’ suggests that he had not forgotten interlocutory injunctions. I see no reason for allowing a covenantor who stands in clear breach of an express prohibition to have a holiday from the enforcement of his obligations until the trial. It may be that there is no direct authority on this point; certainly none has been cited. If so, it is high time that there was such authority; and now there is.’

Megarry J
[1969] 1 Ch 248, [1968] 3 All ER 545
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedShephard and others v Turner and Another CA 23-Jan-2006
The appellants challenged the removal of a restrictive covenant on a neighbour’s house restricting further building on the land to allow further house in the garden. It was in a small close of houses all erected, and the covenant imposed, in 1952. . .
CitedAraci v Fallon CA 4-Jun-2011
The claimant said that the defendant jockey had agreed to ride the claimant’s horse in the Epsom Derby (to be run on the date of the hearing), and that he should not be allowed to ride another horse. The parties had entered into a Rider Retainer . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Litigation Practice

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.238679