Wheeldon v Burrows: CA 17 Jun 1879

Quasi-Easements granted on sale of part of Estate

S owned a workshop and an adjoining plot of land. The workshop had three windows looking out over the plot. The property was sold in separate lots at auction. The land was sold with no express reservation of any easements, and then similarly the workshop. The plaintiff who had purchased the land claimed the right to build on the land so as to obstruct the windows. The defendant workshop owner claimed an easement of access of light through continuous enjoyment.
Held: No right of light was reserved by implication. Only rights of necessity would be implied.
On the grant of part of land there will pass to the grantee all continuous and apparent easements, meaning quasi-easements which are necessary to the enjoyment of the property conveyed, and which have been and are at the time of the grant used by the owners of the whole for the benefit of the part conveyed. If the grantor requires any right over the tenement conveyed he must expressly reserve it.
Lord Justice Thesiger said: ‘two propositions may be stated as that I call general rules governing cases of this kind. The first of these rules is, that on the grant by the owner of a tenement of part of that tenement as it is then used and enjoyed, there will pass to the grantee all those continuous and apparent easements (by which, of course, I mean quasi easements) or, in other words, all those easements which are necessary to the reasonable enjoyment of the property granted, and which have been and are at the time of the grant used by the owners of the entirety for the benefit of the part granted. The second proposition is that, if the grantor intends to reserve any right over the tenement granted, it is his duty to reserve it expressly in the grant. Those are the general rules governing cases of this kind, but the second of those rules is subject to certain exceptions. One of those exceptions is the well-known exception which attaches to cases of what are called ways of necessity;
Both of the general rules which I have mentioned are founded upon a maxim which is as well established by authority as it is consonant to reason and common sense, viz., that a grantor shall not derogate from his grant.’

Thesiger James and Baggallay LJJ
[1879] 12 ChD 31, [1879] 28 WR 196, [1879] 48 LJ Ch 853, [1879] 41 LT 327, [1879] UKLawRpCh 204, (1879-1880) 12 ChD 31
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedWilliam Sindall Plc v Cambridgeshire County Council CA 21-May-1993
Land was bought for development, but the purchaser later discovered a sewage pipe which very substantially limited its development potential. The existence of the pipe had not been disclosed on the sale, being unknown to the seller.
Held: . .
CitedP and S Platt Ltd v Crouch and Another CA 25-Jul-2003
The claimant sought a declaration that certain easements had been included by implication in a conveyance of part of land to him.
Held: Since the easements were capable of subsisting at law, and existed as quasi-easements at the time, and did . .
CitedMcAdams Homes Ltd v Robinson and Another CA 27-Feb-2004
The defendant blocked the line of a sewer. The claimant alleged that it had an easement and sought the cost of building the alternative pipe. The question to be answered was ‘Where an easement is granted by implication on the sale of a property, . .
CitedSovmots Investments Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment HL 28-Apr-1977
The section in the 1881 Act does not apply to a quasi-easement because ‘When land is under one ownership one cannot speak in any intelligible sense of rights, or privileges, or easements being exercised over one part for the benefit of another. . .
CitedAkumah v London Borough of Hackney HL 3-Mar-2005
The authority set up a parking scheme for an estate of house of which it was the landlord. Those not displaying parking permits were to be clamped. The appellant complained that the regulations had been imposed by council resolution, not be the . .
CitedMillman v Ellis CA 1996
The defendant had sold part of his land to the claimant. A right of way was granted over a lane. The purchaser asserted that he had the use of a lay-by on the lane which would otherwise be dangerous. The vendor said the plan did not include a right . .
CitedKent and Another v Kavanagh and Another CA 2-Mar-2006
The parties owned properties part of a building estate. The properties had been held under leases, but those had been enfranchised. The question was as to how the easements granted by the leases were preserved on enfranchisement. A particular . .
CitedCory v Davies 1923
The second proposition in Wheeldon v Burrows is subject to exceptions, and reciprocal rights and reservations into leases should be implied. . .
CitedRysaffe Trustee Company (CI) Ltd and Another v Ataghan Ltd and others ChD 8-Aug-2006
Complex family trusts had been created over many years. Various documents were now disputed, and particularly the extent of land demised by a lease, and whether a surender of a lease had occurred. Landslides had disturbed the boundaries of the land. . .
CitedAdealon International Proprietary Ltd v London Borough of Merton CA 25-Apr-2007
The claimant had bought land from the council. The only means of access was over land retained by the council but there was no grant of a right of way. The claimant now appealed refusal of a right of way by necessity.
Held: At the time of the . .
CitedMoncrieff and Another v Jamieson and others HL 17-Oct-2007
The parties disputed whether a right of way over a road included an implied right for the dominant owner to park on the servient tenement.
Held: The appeal failed. ‘The question is whether the ancillary right is necessary for the comfortable . .
CitedStafford and Another v Lee and Another CA 10-Nov-1992
The plaintiff had built houses on his land and sought an easement of necessity over the neighbour’s drive for access for the houses under the rule in Pwllbach Colliery, saying an intended easement had been granted because it was known to the parties . .
CitedOdey and Others v Barber ChD 29-Nov-2006
The claimants sought a declaration that they had two rights of way over a neighbour’s land. One was claimed by continuous use for twenty years, and the second was said to have been implied under the 1925 Act. No express grant was suggested. . .
CitedCampbell and Another v Banks and Others CA 1-Feb-2011
The court considered the creation by section 62 of the 1925 Act automatically of easements when land was divided. The claimants owned land bounded on either side by properties beloinging to the respondents. The properties had once been in common . .
CitedRees and Another v Windsor-Clive and Others CA 1-Jul-2020
Reservation Derogation construed normally
Construction of tenancy agreement – correct approach to reservations made in favour of the landlord. The landlord required access to the tenanted farm to allow survey work anticipating development of his adjoining land. The tenant now appealed . .
CitedRegency Villas Title Ltd and Others v Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd and Others SC 14-Nov-2018
A substantial historic estate had been divided. A development of one property was by way of leasehold timeshare properties enjoying rights over the surrounding large grounds with sporting facilities. A second development was created but wit freehold . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.185665