JT Developments v Quinn and Another: CA 1990

The plaintiff told the defendant it was willing to grant a lease on the same terms as those contained in a new tenancy that the plaintiff had recently granted to the tenant of a nearby shop, also owned by the plaintiff. The defendant carried out improvements in reliance on that assurance.
Held: The plaintiff was bound to grant the lease in question. It is not open to the court to impose an agreement because it would have been reasonable for the parties to agree or because, if the importance of an immediate agreement had been more clearly understood at the time, the parties might well or probably have so agreed.
Referring to the AG of Hong Kong case, Ralph Gibson LJ said: ‘In that case, there was express use of the phrase ‘subject to contract’ and its effect was fully understood by both sides. In this case there were no such words. The right, however, not to proceed with negotiations for the contract exists independently of the use of that phrase, which is required, normally, in circumstances where an express agreement in writing is apparently reached which would constitute an enforceable agreement but for the use of that phrase.’


Ralph Gibson LJ


[1991] 2 EGLR 257, (1990) 62 P and CR 33


ExplainedAttorney General of Hong Kong v Humphreys Estate (Queen’s Gardens) Ltd PC 1987
An agreement in principle was marked ‘subject to contract’. The Government would acquire some flats owned the plaintiff Group of companies in return for the Government granting, inter alia, a lease to the Group of some Crown lands. The Government . .

Cited by:

CitedHussein Walji, Zulikar Walji, Mohammed Iqbal Walji, Hussain Walji v Mount Cook Land Limited CA 21-Dec-2000
The claimants sought a new lease under the Act. They were assignees and sureties of an underlease of the premises, but a new underlease had been taken by a company through which the partnership had intended to trade. The partnership had paid rent in . .
CitedParker v Parker ChD 24-Jul-2003
Lord Macclesfield claimed a right to occupy a castle. The owners claimed that he had only a mere tenancy at will. The exact rooms in the castle which had been occupied had varied over time.
Held: The applicant was entitled to reasonable . .
CitedWillis v Hoare 1999
Auld LJ said of Crabb: there ‘could be no doubt as to the nature and extent of the remedy required to give effect to [the] equity’. Of JT Developments ‘the nature and terms of the equity were readily identifiable’. Auld LJ said: ‘There may be . .
CitedYeoman’s Row Management Ltd and Another v Cobbe HL 30-Jul-2008
The parties agreed in principle for the sale of land with potential development value. Considerable sums were spent, and permission achieved, but the owner then sought to renegotiate the deal.
Held: The appeal succeeded in part. The finding . .
CitedThorner v Major and others HL 25-Mar-2009
The deceased had made a will including a gift to the claimant, but had then revoked the will. The claimant asserted that an estoppel had been created in his favour over a farm, and that the defendant administrators of the promisor’s estate held it . .
CitedGill v Woodall and Others ChD 5-Oct-2009
The claimant challenged her late mother’s will which had left the entire estate to a charity. She asserted lack of knowledge and approval and coercion, and also an estoppel. The will included a note explaining that no gift had been made because she . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Contract, Land

Updated: 08 May 2022; Ref: scu.184138