A lease can be brought to an end by acceptance of a repudiatory breach

A lease is a contract and like any other contract can be brought to an end by acceptance of the other party’s repudiatory breach. Statutory and contractual provisions affecting the right to recover possession apply in such cases as they do to forfeiture.

In Hussein v Mehlman ([1992] 2 EGLR 87) H was the tenant of a house. The landlord was in serious breach of the repairing covenants implied by statute. H sought to bring the lease to an end by accepting the landlord’s repudiatory breaches. He did this by returning the keys and giving back possession of the property. It was held that, as with any other contract, acceptance of a repudiatory breach of a lease brings it to an end. The right to end the lease in this way is subject to the statutory and any relevant contractual provisions that would apply to forfeiture.

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