William Hill (Southern) Limited v Cabras: CA 1986

The tenant had affixed a sign to the premises with the landlord’s consent. The new landlord said that any licence was revocable. The judge had held that the lease had specifically granted a right to exhibit the signs.
Held: The landlord’s appeal was dismissed. The right to maintain the signs was in the demise of the appurtenances to the demised premises, and ‘together with the appurtenances thereto in clause 1(a) could not, in the context of the present lease, be treated as mere surplusage. Bearing in mind the permitted use of the premises and the practical and commercial considerations, it was to be supposed that the appurtenances included the right to maintain the signs. That view was not invalidated by clause 3 which did not refer to appurtenances as such and which made express exception to the rights specifically granted by the lease. Further, applying the general principle that the grantor shall not derogate from his grant, the court would not construe a general provision, most of all an exception in very general terms, such as that in clause 3, to take away that which had already been granted in the dispositive provisions of the lease.’
Nourse LJ said: ‘There was some debate as to whether it could be said that the appurtenances were specifically granted on the ground that the word is an entirely general one. However, I do not think there is much in that point. The appurtenances were clearly granted expressly and I think that is enough, particularly when the general principle to which I now come is borne in mind.’ and
‘Mr Sparrow submits that the court will not construe a general provision in a lease, particularly an exception and most of all an exception couched in very general terms such as those in clause 3, so as to take away with the other hand that which has already been granted by the one hand in the dispositive provisions of the lease. Although Wheeldon v Burrows was a case on implied rights, I accept Mr Sparrow’s proposition with regard to the construction of express rights, it being, as Thessiger LJ said, consonant to reason and common sense and also, I would add, to the commercial realities of a case such as this.’


Nourse LJ


[1986] 54 PandCR 42


Prescription Act 1832

Cited by:

CitedParagon Finance plc v City of London Real Property Co Ltd ChD 16-Jul-2001
The claimants were underlessees of an office building. The offices had enjoyed a right of light for over a hundred years, and the freehold had acquired an easement of light by lost modern grant. The roadway having been closed, the defendant head . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.267164