‘Quiet Enjoyment’ Revisited: A landlord’s liability to a tenant for disruption caused by construction

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Philip Britton

May 2017

A paper based on the essay awarded first prize in the Hudson essay competition 2016, presented to a meeting of the Society of Construction Law in London on 2nd May 2017

In this paper Philip Britton looks at Timothy Taylor v Mayfair House, a dispute in the Chancery Division in 2016 about redevelopment of part a prestigious building in Mayfair.  The tenant of the ground floor and basement, a modern art gallery owner, took action against the building’s landlords, complaining of the impact on the gallery of the construction project.  The legal issues concerned both the terms of the lease, which gave the landlord an apparently unqualified right to rebuild part or all of the building, and the common law protections for all tenants against landlords.  This led to the landlord’s liability and to issues about the appropriate remedy – in fact an award of damages, part of which was equivalent to a rent reduction as long as the project continued.  The paper contrasts the position in a landlord-and-tenant context with that between freeholders; it also contains examples from statutory intervention in parts of Australasia on the same issues.

Introduction – How the dispute arose – The lease terms – making sense of the lease terms – If both parties had been freeholders? – A tenant’s remedies against a landlord – Conclusions.

The author: Philip Britton llb bcl is a Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne, also Visiting Professor and former Director, Centre of Construction Law and Dispute Resolution, King’s College London: philip@linden60.co.uk

Text: 20 pages

Paper number: 
205
May 2017, printed and online, 675k
£3.00

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