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Savva and Savva v Hussein (1997) 73 P. & C.R. 150

Property law – Landlord and tenant – Forfeiture

Facts

In 1991, the landlords granted a twelve-year lease of commercial premises to the respondent. The respondent changed the signage and installed a flue through the roof of the property, both of which were in breach of the terms of the lease. The landlords served notice for breaching the agreement and therefore forfeiting the lease in accordance with the Law of Property Act 1925, section 146. The landlords also claimed for damages and trespass in relation to the flue. The respondent claimed that the landlords were in breach of their covenant as they had not kept the property in good repair. The trial judge found in favour of the respondent, ordered the landlords to repair the damage and assigned two months’ rent to the respondent in damages. The landlord subsequently appealed the decision.

Issue

The court was required to decide whether the respondent’s behaviour was enough to warrant an order of forfeiture under the Law of Property Act 1925, or, whether the landlord was required to carry out the repairs on the building. It was also for the court to decide whether the flue, which ran into the roof and air-space, could be considered as trespass.

Held

The court dismissed the landlord’s appeal. It was held that the issues caused by the respondent’s behaviour were capable of remedy and therefore it had not breached the Law of Property Act 1925, section 146 and no forfeiture was required, despite the flue technically being considered as a trespass. The court agreed that the trial judge was right to award damages to the respondent.


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