Oceanic Village Ltd v United Attractions Ltd, Shirayama: ChD 9 Dec 1999

The tenant sought an injunction against its neighbour and landlord to prevent it letting an adjoining property without a restriction similar to the one in its own lease. The claimants sought reassurance from the defendant tenants of the adjoining propery that they would act in accordance with the retriction, but no re-assurance was given.
Held: The claimants were prevented under the 1925 Act from registering a notice, and the defendants took the lease with notice of the restriction. However, the words ‘any demised premises’ in the 1995 Act referred to the premises demised by the particular lease in question, and not to any other premises demised by the landlord. Having granted a lease of part to the claimant covenanting not to allow any other part to be used as a gift shop, the landlord demised another part to the first defendant without incorporating a similar restriction. The landlords were not to be injuncted not to do something which they would not themselves be doing, but which would be done by another tenant. No notice was registerable.
Neuberger J: ‘In my judgment, while it is right to take into account the fact that the draftsman of the lease has departed from, or has omitted part of, a well-established form of words, that will not, at least on its own, normally be a sufficient reason for not giving the words he has used the natural meaning which they would otherwise bear. The fact that the draftsman has used a different form of words in relation to two provisions of a lease concerned with the same concept, in this case the use to which land is not to be put, is also something which should be taken into account when construing either of those provisions, but, again, I do not consider that it should normally justify departing from the natural meaning of either provision.
While it is appropriate for the court to contrast a provision which falls to be construed with a well-established form of words or with the way in which another provision in the lease is drafted, it is also right for the court to bear in mind the way that leases are drafted in practice. It is well known that draftsmen of leases will frequently use many expressions where one will do – see eg per Hoffmann J in Norwich Union Life Insurance Society v British Railways Board [1987] 2 EGLR 137 at 138 and in Tea Trade Properties Ltd v CIN Properties Ltd [1990] 1 EGLR 155 at 158. Furthermore, draftsmen may take the wording of different clauses from different precedents and different clauses may come from different hands.’


Neuberger J


Times 19-Jan-2000, [2000] 1 All ER 975, [2000] Ch 234


Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 3(5), Land Registration Act 1925 50(1)


England and Wales


CitedDarstone Ltd v Cleveland Petroleum Co Ltd 1969
. .
CitedNorwich Union Life Insurance v British Railways Board 1987
The court made reference to the ‘torrential style of drafting which has been traditional for many years’ among draftsmen of covenants in leases. ‘The use of ordinary language to convey meaning often involves subtle discriminations which for most . .
CitedTea Trade Properties Ltd v CIN Properties Ltd ChD 1990
It is not unusual for conveyances to say the same thing twice: ‘… I have never found the presumption against superfluous language particularly useful in the construction of leases. The draftsmen traditionally employ linguistic overkill and try to . .

Cited by:

CitedMorrells of Oxford Ltd v Oxford United Football Club Ltd and Others CA 21-Jul-2000
A covenant on the sale of land for a public house provided that the vendor should not permit the building of licensed premises within half a mile.
Held: The covenant operated personally only. The covenants which might be implied by the section . .
CitedRanson v Ranson CA 13-Dec-2001
There had been protracted ancillary relief litigation between the parties resulting in a final order. Part of the order related to property, but the husband asserted that he was incapable of conveying the property since, because of title . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Registered Land

Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.84420