Easement not abandoned where owner’s tenant blocked door

The intention to abandon an easement is not to be inferred lightly.

In Wong Kwan Yee v Incorporated Owners of Diamond Mansion ([2011] HKEC 315) the plaintiff owned commercial premises. The plaintiff had used a door from a lobby area into her premises for over forty years and acquired an easement through this long user. Her tenant bricked the door over in 2004. It was held that this non-use for a short period of time (compared with the forty year history of the door) did not amount to an abandonment of the easement. The Court referred to a statement in Gale on Easements to the effect that the intention to abandon an easement is not to be inferred lightly.

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