Townsends Carriers Ltd v Pfizer Ltd: 1977

A break notice had been served not by the tenant company but by an associated company, the service not being on the landlord company but an associated company.
Held: Because the tenant and the landlord had allowed their respective associated companies to deal with the property as if they were landlord and tenant respectively in respect of matters such as an increase in the rent and variations of the lease, the break notice had been validly served.
The Vice-Chancellor also noted but rejected an argument that the relevant clause required the tenant to ‘give’ notice to the landlord, and that, although the landlord had ultimately received the notice, ‘no notice had ever been given to the landlord as such’: ‘I do not think that a requirement to ‘give’ notice is one that excludes the indirect giving of notice. The question is whether the notice has been given, not whether it has been given directly. If the notice emanates from the giver and reaches the ultimate recipient, I do not think that it matters if it has passed through more hands than one in transit.’

Sir Robert Megarry VC
[1977] 33 P and CR 361
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedDun and Bradstreet Software Services (England) Ltd; Dun and Bradstreet Software Services Ltd v Provident Mutual Life Assurance Association and General Accident Linked Life Assurance CA 9-Jun-1997
Break clauses had been exercised on behalf of the plaintiffs. The defendant landlords appealed a decision upholding the notices. A penalty rent had been sought.
Held: There had been no sufficient agency established to validate the notice. The . .
CitedMW Trustees Ltd and Others v Telular Corporation ChD 31-Jan-2011
The claimants sought a declaration that its tenants had not served an effective notice to break the lease. The lease contained mandatory provisions for service of any notice, and the tenant’s break notice had been served, it said, on the wrong . .
CitedUKI (Kingsway) Ltd v Westminster City Council SC 17-Dec-2018
Short issue as to the requirements for valid ‘service’ of a completion notice so as to bring a newly completed building within liability for non-domestic rates. The notice had been served by email where no statutory authority existed for this.
Landlord and Tenant, Agency

Updated: 31 December 2021; Ref: scu.188161