Smirk v Lyndale Developments Ltd: ChD 1975

The court considered the doctrine that a tenant acquiring title to land by adverse possession, did so on behalf of hs landlord.
Held: The cases demonstrated that ‘the law . . has got into something of a tangle’, but the doctrine, at least as summarised by Parke B, appeared to be ‘in accordance with justice and common sense’. If a tenant occupies land belonging to the landlord but not included in the demise, that land is presumed to be an addition to the land demised to the tenant, so that it becomes subject to the terms of the tenancy and must therefore be given up to the landlord when the tenancy ends. For there to be a surrender of an existing lease by operation of law because of the grant of a new lease,


Pennycuick V-C


[1975] Ch 321, [1975] 1 All ER 690


England and Wales


CitedKingsmill v Millard 20-Jun-1855
Parke B set out the doctrine that a tenant acquiring adjoining land by adverse possession acquires it on behalf of his landlord: ‘It is laid down in all the cases – whether the inclosed land is part of the waste, or belongs to the landlord or a . .
ApprovedTabor v Godfrey 1895
Where a tenant occupies land adjacent to land demised to him by the landlord, he occupies it as additional to the tenancy, and subject to its terms. . .

Cited by:

CitedTower Hamlets v Barrett and Another CA 19-Jul-2005
The defendant tenants appealed an order for them to surrender possession of land which they claimed had been acquired by adverse possession. The buildings, including one which shared a party wall with the building owned by the defendants had been . .
Appeal fromSmirk v Lyndale Developments Ltd CA 2-Jan-1975
Judgment upheld . .
CitedTrustees In the Charity of Sir John Morden v Mayrick; Graham v Mayrick CA 12-Jan-2007
The claimant had owned tracts of land in London for very many years, but the title deeds had been lost. The defendant had purchased a part from a company who had in turn purchased from the claimants, but the parties disputed an adjacent strip of . .
CitedGraham and others v Mayrick ChD 23-Mar-2006
The claimants sought specific performance of a compromise agreement with the defendant after a dispute over a strip of land. The defendant appealed a finding that the claimants had shown satisfactory title.
Held: ‘It has long been established . .
CitedLong v Tower Hamlets London Borough Council ChD 20-Mar-1996
The parties had agreed for a lease, and the tenant entered possession, but no formal lease was executed. The tenant stopped paying rent in 1977 or 1984. He now claimed rectification of the registers to show him as proprietor. The landlord argued . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Limitation, Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.228931