Proprietary estoppel and rent free periods

In Edwin Shirley Productions Ltd v Workspace Management Ltd ([2001] 2 EGLR 16) E occupied several parts of  property owned by W under a combination of leases and licence agreements. W re-entered the property as a result of E’s failure to pay rent and licence fees over a long period. E argued that W had agreed to grant it lengthy rent-free periods to compensate it for the cost incurred by E in upgrading the property. It argued that the understanding was that the rent / fees were permanently waived and that W knew that E had relied on the assurances as to the rent holiday when making its investment in the property. E invoked proprietary estoppel and constructive trust. E failed. The relevant promises, if they had been given at all, occurred in subject to contract negotiations. They were not, therefore, to be relied on for the purposes of estoppel or constructive trust. In any event, the arrears were in respect of a much longer period than that covered by the alleged rent holiday agreement. Lawrence Collins J suggests that invoking these equitable principles is especially difficult in the commercial context (at para. 48).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: