Unique Pub Properties v Onifas Limited: ChD 2011

Enterprise owned the reversion on the lease of a public house, The Bedford, in Balham, having taken as assignment of that reversion from Unique. Onifas Ltd was the tenant. Unique had installed a ‘DMS’ flow measurement system at The Bedford in 2006. While Unique was still its landlord, Onifas gave notice to Unique requiring it to remove the equipment, threatening to remove it itself if Unique did not. Unique refused to do so, and threatened to apply for an injunction if Onifas’ threat was carried out. Following a refusal by Onifas to give an undertaking, proceedings were commenced by Unique for an injunction to restrain the threatened interference. After commencement of proceedings the transactions took place under which Enterprise acquired the reversion.
The dispute hinged on the meaning of the reservation of a right for the Landlord to enter and install measuring the flow of beers sold. The main issue was: ‘Was the reservation subject to an implied proviso that Unique/Enterprise would not consider appropriate or desirable any flow regulating or monitoring system which was either unlawful or is in fact unable to support an accurate monitoring of the sales of beers and ciders for the purposes of the terms of trading in the lease?’ The Judge expressed the reservation as a right to enter the property: ‘to install such flow regulating or monitoring systems and such other ancillary equipment as [it] may from time to time consider appropriate or desirable.’
Held: There was no implied term such as that for which Onifas contended. Mr Seitler QC, on behalf of Onifas accepted that the landlord was entitled to a degree of flexibility in its choice of flow monitoring system but that that flexibility did not, he argued, extend to a system that was inherently inaccurate and unlawful.


Behrens J


[2011] EWHC 3071 (Ch)


England and Wales


ConsideredAttorney General of Belize and others v Belize Telecom Ltd and Another PC 18-Mar-2009
(Belize) A company had been formed to manage telecommunications in Belize. The parties disputed the interpretation of its articles. Shares had been sold, but the company was structured so as to leave a degree of control with the government. It was . .

Cited by:

See AlsoUnique Pub Properties Ltd v Broard Green Tavern Ltd and Another ChD 26-Jul-2012
The claimant freeholder sought to install in the tenant’s pub, equipment to monitor sales. It claimed a right for this in the lease. The tenant refused access, saying that the proposed system was inaccurate. The claimant now sought summary relief. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 19 July 2022; Ref: scu.463303