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WG Clark (Properties) Ltd v Dupre Properties Ltd [1992] Ch. 297

Property law – Landlord and tenant – Forfeiture

Facts

The basement flat of an apartment was leased to a tenant. A year later, the parties agreed that the tenant could extend the flat into an adjoining courtyard on the payment of £5,000. This required the re-granting of a new lease which included the courtyard and original flat but required the tenant to relinquish his original interest. The land registry declined the deed on the basis that the courtyard was already owned by a third-party. The tenant claimed damages against the landlord for false representation of the property. The landlord brought proceedings against the tenant on the basis that the statement of claim in the tenant’s action had denied his rights to the land, including both the flat and courtyard in question.

Issue

The court was required to understand the gravitas of the statement made by the tenant in relation to the landlord’s rights with regards to the property and the subsequent effect this had on the landlord’s right over the courtyard.

Held

The tenant’s appeal was allowed and the defendant’s action was struck out. This was on the basis that the tenant’s statement, which positively represented the landlord’s interest in his property but did the same for a third-party in relation to the courtyard was a partial disclaimer, and would not affect the entitlement that the landlord has to possession of the property as a whole. Importantly, it was held per curiamthat if the tenant’s disclosure had rejected the landlord’s right to the land, it may be possible for the landlord to issue a notice under the Law of Property Act 1925, section 146 which required the tenant to forfeit the property.


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