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Rhone v Stephens

[1995] CLJ 60

Case summary last updated at 08/01/2020 18:41 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Rhone v Stephens

A cottage attached to a large house was sold separately from the main house, and the seller covenanted in the conveyance to repair the shared roof. Before he could do so, both the main house and the cottage were sold. The new owner of the cottage sought to enforce the covenant against the owner of the main house. HL held that the general rule is that covenants for positive duties are enforceable only as contracts and the burden does not run with the land in equity. It rejected the doctrine of benefit and burden as a way of circumventing the non-enforceability of positive covenants rule. 
 
Lord Templeman: Equity ought not contradict the common law and since positive obligations cannot be imposed under common law rules of privity, neither can they be allowed under equity. 

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