Published: Fri, 12 Oct 2018
Dunraven Securities Ltd v Holloway (1982) 264 E.G. 709
Property law – Landlord and tenant – Covenants
The case involved a 150-year lease of a property between landlord and tenant, with the property being a retail store. The agreement was that the tenant would pay a peppercorn rent, an insurance premium and a service charge which was calculated by another schedule within the agreement. Within the terms, aside from paying rent, the landlord also agreed not to undertake or permit illegal activity on the premises. The tenant later opened up a sex shop in the retail space he had leased and was placed under a confiscation order as per the Obscene Publications Act 1959. The landlord issued a possession order for the property as a result of the tenant breaching the covenant within the lease. This application was subsequently appealed by the tenant.
The issue for the court, in this case, was whether the defendant’s illegal act had been committed in line with the Obscene Publications Act 1959. If this was the case, then the court was required to decide if this was a breach of the lease agreement between the parties and whether such a breach could be repaired by the tenant.
The tenant’s appeal against the possession order given by the landlord was dismissed. It was found that the tenant had committed an illegal act under the Act and therefore this was a breach that could not be remedied. The appellant judge agreed with the trial judge’s decision that the relief from forfeiture should be rejected in line with the correct decision which was given earlier.
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