Sanderson v Berwick-upon-Tweed Corporation: 1884

The Corporation let a farm to Sanderson. It reserved in favour of Cairns, another tenant farmer, the rights to use a drain across one of Sanderson’s fields and to enter and repair it. Water discharged by Cairns leaked through the drain and flooded Sanderson’s land. He sued the landlord on the covenant for quiet enjoyment.
Held: The flooding was a breach of the covenant. It is a question of fact and degree in each case as to whether the tenant’s ordinary use of the premises has been substantially interfered with.
Fry LJ said: ‘[T]he damage here has resulted to the plaintiff from the proper user by Cairns of the drains passing through the plaintiff’s land which were improperly constructed. In respect of this proper user Cairns appears to us to claim lawfully under the defendants by virtue of his lease, and to have acted under the authority conferred on him by the defendants. The injury caused to the field appears to us to have been, within the meaning of the covenant in that behalf contained in the lease to the plaintiff, a substantial interruption by Cairns, who is a person lawfully claiming through the defendants, of the plaintiff’s enjoyment of the land, and so to constitute a breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment for which the defendants are liable in damages.’


Fry LJ


[1884] 13 QBD 547

Cited by:

CitedMowan v London Borough of Wandsworth and Another CA 21-Dec-2000
The claimant tenant sought damages from the landlord and neighbour and fellow tenant for nuisance caused by the neighbour’s aberrant behaviour.
Sir Christopher Staughton said: ‘there is a strong trend in the cases in favour of the landlord who . .
CitedSouthwark London Borough Council v Mills/Tanner; Baxter v Camden London Borough Council HL 21-Oct-1999
Tenants of council flats with ineffective sound insulation argued that the landlord council was in breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment in their tenancy agreements.
Held: A landlord’s duty to allow quiet enjoyment does not extend to a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.186080