In re Midland Railway Co’s Agreement, Charles Clay and Sons Ltd v British Railways Board: CA 1971

The lease agreement created a term for six months from 10 June 1920 and was to continue from half year to half year until determined. It was to be determined by three months’ written notice given by either party to the other provided that the landlords should not exercise that right unless they required the premises for their own business. The successors to the landlords served a six months’ written notice to quit under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 although they did not require the premises for their undertaking.
Held: The landlords’ appeal failed. The notice to quit was invalid and of no effect because the landlords did not require the premises for their undertaking. Russell LJ said that Lace v Chantler did not apply to a periodic tenancy: ‘we are persuaded that, there being no authority to prevent us, it is preferable as a matter of justice to hold parties to their clearly expressed bargain rather than to introduce for the first time in 1971 an extension of a doctrine of land law so as to deny the efficacy of that bargain.’


Russell LJ


[1971] Ch 725


England and Wales


AppliedDoe dem Warner v Browne 1807
The parties agreed a lease at a rent of andpound;40 per annum. The landlord was not to raise the rent nor turn out the tenant ‘so long as the rent is duly paid quarterly, and he does not expose to sale or sell any article that may be injurious to W . .
Not followedCheshire Lines Committee v Lewis and Co 1880
A weekly tenancy agreement contained an undertaking by the landlord not to give notice to quit until he needed to pull down the demised buildings.
Held: Lush J applied Warner v Browne saying: ‘This reasoning applies with at least equal force . .
Not followedLace v Chantler CA 1944
The freeholder purported to let the house to the tenant ‘for the duration of the war’
Held: The term was uncertain, and therefore no lease was created.
Lord Green MR said: ‘The intention was to create a tenancy and nothing else. The law . .

Cited by:

OverruledPrudential Assurance Co Ltd v London Residuary Body and Others HL 16-Jul-1992
The parties signed a memorandum of agreement to let a strip of land from 1930 until determined as provided, but the only provision was that the lease would continue until the land was needed for road widening and two months’ notice was given. The . .
CitedBerrisford v Mexfield Housing Co-Operative Ltd SC 9-Nov-2011
The tenant appealed against an order granting possession. The tenancy, being held of a mutual housing co-operative did not have security but was in a form restricting the landlord’s right to recover possession, and the tenant resisted saying that it . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.259628