Property case law update: April 2012

10 Apr 2012

Faidi v Elliott Corp – 16.3.12 – CoA [2012] EWCA Civ 287
Waiver of covenant to carpet – Licence to alter – Underfloor heating & new wooden floor.
Held: Laying carpets in accordance with the covenants in the lease would render the alterations licensed futile. The enforcement of that covenant was therefore incompatible with the previous grant of the licence.

Smith Brothers Farms Ltd v Canwell Estates Co Ltd – 2.3.12 – CoA – [2012] EWCA Civ 237
Estate rentcharge – Created in 1990 – Meaning s2(4)(b) Rentcharges Act 1977.
Held: The requirement a rent charge be for the purpose of contributing to costs benefiting the landowner’s land could be satisfied by establishing an overall beneficial purpose referable to the landowner’s land. It was unnecessary to show the whole of the costs related to benefiting the landowner’s land. John de Waal successfully represented the respondent.

Oakglade Investments Ltd v Dhand – 13.3.12 – CA – [2012] EWCA Civ 286
Contract for sale – Notice to complete – Validity – Forfeiture of deposit.
Held: A notice to complete, accompanied by completion statements demanding more than was contractually due, was not valid. The vendor was therefore not entitled to forfeit the purchaser’s deposit.

Bhat v Masshouse Developments Ltd – 15.3.12 – ChD – 15 March 2012 – unreported
Contract for sale and constructions – Development halted for a prolonged period – Developer in administration – Repudiation by purchasers – Reclaim deposit.
Held: The developer was in repudiatory breach of its express obligation to construct with reasonable diligence. The purchaser was entitled to accept that repudiation and to seek the return of its deposit.

IAM Group Plc v Chowdry – 15.3.12 – CoA
Adverse possession – Sch 6 para 5(4) LRA 2002 – Reasonable belief in ownership.
Held: The correct question was whether in all the circumstances an applicant was reasonable in holding a belief in ownership and whether he should have made enquiries. The knowledge of a reasonable competent solicitor was not the question. In the absence of evidence that anything put the applicant on notice of the need to make enquiries of his solicitor or others the finding his belief was reasonable was justified. The simple fact a paper owner challenged an applicant’s ownership would not always result in the applicant’s belief being unreasonable.


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