Morton v Woods: QBD 1867

The owner of a factory, having already conveyed his legal estate by virtue of a first charge, purported to grant a second mortgage to a bank. As additional security, he ‘attorned tenant’ to the bank. He acknowledged a relationship of landlord and tenant between them. This was intended to give the mortgagee the rights of a landlord. When the borrower failed to pay, the bank levied a distress. The owner of the goods sued for damages, claiming that the bank had no right to levy distress because that ancient common law remedy was available only to the holder of a legal estate. A recital to the mortgage made it plain that the bank was a second mortgagee and therefore had no legal estate.
Held: The mortgagor was estopped from denying the bank’s legal title. Kelly CB: ‘it is the creation of the tenancy, or the estoppel, which arises from the creation of the relation of landlord and tenant by agreement between the parties, that makes the actual legal estate unnecessary to support the distress.’


Kelly CB


(1867) LR 4 QB 292

Cited by:

CitedBruton v London and Quadrant Housing Trust HL 24-Jun-1999
The claimant sought to oblige the respondent to repair his flat under the 1988 Act. The respondent replied that the arrangement was a licence only, and not protected under the Act.
Held: The housing association had a temporary licence to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.199981