Venetian Glass Gallery Ltd v Next Properties Ltd.: 1989

The court considered the significance of a reservation that a letter was sent ‘subject to licence’. After considering case law: ‘All three go to show that there is a distinction recognised by the law between the relationships, such as those between landlord and tenant, where there is an existing set of legal obligations between the parties and there is sought within those obligations a consent, and relations between strangers in law, as between prospective purchaser and prospective vendor, where there is no present tie and the parties are in their negotiations. I accept that there is such a distinction and I agree that one does not regard the need for a formal licence, probably under seal, as being the essential step without which there can be no effective licence, whereas of course in the case of a contract for the sale of land, apart from the difficulties created by section 40 of the Law of Property Act 1925, if there is no written note or memorandum of the contract, it is plainly the normal expectation of the law that until a normal contract has been signed, either by both parties or in two parts, and exchanged between the parties, there will be no legal relationship. Nonetheless, accepting that principle, it is still a question, in my view, of construction of the various letters and reading the correspondence as a whole.’
Harman J
[1989] 2 EGLR 42
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAubergine Enterprises Limited v Lakewood International Limited CA 26-Feb-2002
A sought confirmation that it had successfully rescinded a contract for the purchase of a leasehold property from L. Either party was to be able to rescind, if consent to the assignment had not obtained before three days before completion. There . .

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Updated: 09 May 2021; Ref: scu.221528