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Licences And Proprietary Estoppel Notes

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Land 2 Licences and Proprietary Estoppel

Contractual licences ESTABLISHMENT

Tanner v Tanner [1975] 1 WLR 1346, [1975] 3 All ER 776: D and P had children and agreed that a house should be purchased for D and the children. P paid for the house and D left her rent-controlled flat to live there. P later asked D to leave and sued for possession. CA awarded D damages, saying that, in all the circumstances, the license was a contractual one, lasting until the children were of school-leaving age. Lord Denning MR: The provision of a place to live was in return for D bringing up children to whom P had a duty and in return for which she had agreed to leave her flat protected by the Rents Act legislation. It is to be inferred from the circumstances that the duration of the license was to be until the children were capable of looking after themselves, since the purpose of the agreement was to enable the mother to afford them a better upbringing. Chandler v Kerley [1978] 1 WLR 693, [1978] 2 All ER 942: X and D bought a house, and after getting divorced sold it to P, for substantially less than the asking price, with whom D was in a relationship. D and her children continued living there. P later demanded that D leave and sued for possession. CA found that there was a contractual license, terminable upon reasonable notice, which gave her sufficient time to re-house herself and her children. In this case, 12 months was appropriate. Lord Scarman: It is unlikely that P intended to house another man's wife and children indefinitely, but was likely that he intended to allow her to live their while they were in a relationship. Therefore it was the implied intentions of the parties that P could reside there until a notice was given to her to leave, and this notice had to be reasonable. EFFECT ON LICENSOR

Winter Garden Theatre v Millenium Productions [1946] 1 All ER 678 (CA) and [1948]
AC 173 at 188-191, 193-4, 202-3 (HL): P sold D a license to show plays for 6 months, including an option to renew the licence for another 6 months, and at the end of the second period, to renew their license at a set rate of rent which D could terminate after giving a month's notice (no express provision about how much notice P would have to give to terminate the license). D exercised both options to renew the license and P terminated the license, requiring D to move out after a certain date and D refused, so P sued for possession. HL found for P, saying that the license after the exercise of the 2 nd option was NOT perpetual, that P had to give a reasonable period of notice to D and that, on the facts this had been given.

Lord Simon: "in the sale of a ticket to enter premises and witness a particular event... the implication of the arrangement, however it may be classified in law, plainly is that the ticket entitles the purchaser to enter and, if he behaves himself, to remain on the premises until the end of the event which he has paid his money to witness." Hence there is no reason why injunctions/SP cannot be awarded in such a case. Lord Porter: the contractual licence for the purpose of doing an act or a series of acts was not revocable once the performance of a particular act had begun. Lord Uthwatt: "The settled practice of the courts of equity is to do what they can by an injunction to preserve the sanctity of a bargain. To my mind, as at present advised, a licensee who has refused to accept the wrongful repudiation of the bargain which is involved in an unauthorised revocation of the licence is as much entitled to the protection of an injunction as a licensee who has not received any notice of revocation." Hounslow LBC v Twickenham Garden Developments [1971] Ch 233 at 242F-255A: P contracted with D for D to build on P's site. There was a clause that if P had served notice that D's work was not progressing adequately, and this was not served unreasonably, P would be entitled to determine the contract after 14 days of the notice being served. The notice was served but after 14 days D refused to vacate the premises. P sued for an injunction. Megarry J held that D's licence to remain was a contractual one, due to last for a specified period. Unless the contract had been validly "determined" by P, the court would not grant an injunction since this would be to aid a wrongful repudiation of contract. In this case, P failed to show that D had breached the contract and therefore was not entitled to determine (i.e. terminate) the contract. Therefore the license would not be ended (by injunction). Megarry J: Cites dicta of Lord Porter and Lord Uthwatt (above) in support off his contention that injunctions will not be granted to end contractual licenses where this will help a wrongful repudiation of a contract. He summarises as follows: (1) A licence to enter land is a contractual licence if it is conferred by a contract; it is immaterial whether the right to enter the land is the primary purpose of the contract or is merely secondary. (2) A contractual licence is not an entity distinct from the contract which brings it into being, but merely one of the provisions of that contract. (3) The willingness of the court to grant equitable remedies in order to enforce or support a contractual licence depends on whether or not the licence is specifically enforceable. (4) But even if a contractual licence is not specifically enforceable, the court will not grant equitable remedies in order to procure or aid a breach of the licence. Verrall v Great Yarmouth BC [1981] QB 202: D contracted to let P use the town hall for a National Front demo and then repudiated (following council elections). D sued P and an injunction was granted. CA held that where practical, the courts will enforce licenses by injunction/SP, even where the licensee has not yet taken possession.

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