NCR Ltd v Riverland Portfolio No.1 Ltd: ChD 16 Jul 2004

The tenant complained that the landlord had unreasonably delayed approval of a proposed underletting.
Held: The court had to bear in mind that the consent was to an underlease, and that therefore there was no privity between the landlord and the proposed sub-tenant. The tenant would remain liable for rent and repairs as before. The financial status of the proposed undertenant was not of great or vital significance. Two weeks should have been enough to make the decision. The failure to reply was to be treated as an equivalent to a refusal. ‘the contractual obligations of the landlord to its bank cannot, in my judgment, be a good reason for the landlord to withhold consent when, absent that obligation, he would grant consent.’ and ‘no landlord, acting reasonably, would, or could, have refused consent for the reasons given by Riverland.’


Peter Leaver QC


[2004] EWHC 2073 (Ch)


Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 1(3)


England and Wales


CitedAshworth Frazer Limited v Gloucester City Council HL 8-Nov-2001
A lease contained a covenant against assignment without the Landlord’s consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. The tenant asserted, pace Killick, that the landlord could not refuse consent on the grounds that the proposed tenant might . .
CitedHoulder Brothers and Co Ltd v Gibbs CA 1925
The landlord owned two adjoining commercial properties. The tenant of one proposed to assign the lease to the tenant of the adjoining property. The landlord refused consent on the ground that if the assignment went ahead, it was likely that the . .
CitedPimms Ltd v Tallow Chandlers Company CA 1964
The landlord had refused its consent to an assignment of the remaining term of a lease to a development company, which desired to acquire the lease because of its nuisance value, and to use its interest as a basis for inducing the landlord to enter . .
CitedBickel v Duke of Westminster CA 1977
The freeholder had refused consent to an assignment of the head lease of a house to a lady who, if she had become tenant under the head lease for five years, would have been entitled to buy the freehold from the Estate. The existing tenant was a . .
CitedBates v Donaldson CA 1896
The landlord had refused consent to an assignment of the lease to a respectable and responsible prospective tenant, for the reason that the landlord wished to place commercial pressure on the existing tenant to surrender the lease to the landlord. . .
CitedInternational Drilling Fluids v Louisville Investments (Uxbridge) Ltd CA 20-Nov-1985
Consent to Assignment Unreasonably Withheld
The landlord had refused a proposed assignment of office premises from a tenant who had occupied the premises as its permanent offices, to a tenant who proposed to use the premises as serviced offices – that is, for short-term rent to others. The . .
CitedNorwich Union Life Insurance Society v Shopmoor Ltd ChD 1999
Shopmoor’s predecessors demised premises for 150 years at a yearly rent of andpound;100 on payment of a premium. A covenant provided that the tenant was not to assign or sublet without the landlord’s consent, not to be unreasonably withheld or . .
CitedFootwear Corporation Ltd v Amplight Properties Ltd ChD 1-Apr-1998
The plaintiff was tenant of premises under a lease granted by the defendant’s predecessor in title. He vacated the premises in July 1996, and on 17 November 1997 wrote asking the defendant for a licence to sublet them to a pet shop business. The . .
CitedBromley Park Garden Estates Ltd v Moss CA 1982
When considering whether to give consent to an assignment of a lease, the landlord need consider only his own interests.
Slade LJ said: ‘I find it rather more surprising that, when the landlords came subsequently to question the validity of . .
CitedGo West Ltd v Spigarolo and Another CA 31-Jan-2003
The tenant applied for a licence to assign the lease under section 1. The landlord refused consent, but the parties continued to negotiate. The tenant argued that the landlord’s continuation of negotiations showed the earlier counter-notice to have . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromNCR Ltd v Riverland Portfolio No1 Ltd (No 2) CA 21-Mar-2005
The court considered a claim that the landlords consent to an assignment of the lease had been wrongly withheld. Following a period of discussion and negotiation about the proposed assignment, on August 11 2003 the landlord’s solicitors informed the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 27 June 2022; Ref: scu.221586