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Miles v Easter [1933] Ch 611

Property law – Restrictive covenants

Facts

Company S bought some land and mortgaged it to a bank. They later sold a part of this land to B. As part of the sale of land, there was a deed which contained restrictive covenants to not do anything on the land that might be a nuisance to the vendors, nor to construct a pub or hotel on the property. This was applicable to B and to subsequent owners of the land. The plaintiff later received the title of the land via the executors of B’s will, after B had died. Later, the defendant bought land from Company S and subsequently conveyed this to fifteen people. The defendant later sought to enforce the restrictive covenants and appealed the decision of the trial judge who prevented this at the first instance.

Issue

The court was required to establish whether the covenant from the earlier conveyancing was annexed to the plot of retained land, a portion of the land or not to any of the lands in question. This would allow the court to establish whether the restrictive covenant could be considered as enforceable by the defendants against the plaintiff. In doing this, it was important for the court to establish whether the benefit of the covenant had been expressly assigned to the plaintiff.

Held

The Court of Appeal affirmed the original decision of the trial judge and dismissed the appeal. The court held that the defendants could not enforce the restrictive covenants against the plaintiffs as there was no evidence that the benefit of the restrictive covenant had been annexed to the plaintiff’s land.


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