Covenant for quiet enjoyment

Kenny v Preen ([1963] 1 QB 499, CA (Eng)) concerned a lease of two rooms in a house. The tenant was an elderly lady. The landlord wanted to recover possession while the lease was still running. He served a notice to quit and ignored a letter from the tenant’s solicitor explaining that he had no legal right to serve one; he wrote letters threatening to put the lady’s property in the street and he banged on the door telling her that he would have her removed. These actions were held to constitute a breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment.

Pearson LJ explained that the covenant is, ‘a qualified covenant protecting a tenant against interference with the tenant’s quiet and peaceful possession and enjoyment of the premises by the landlord or persons claiming through or under the landlord.’  It is an interference with the possession that has been promised to the tenant.

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