Weekly review: 23rd – 27th January 2012

Chinese customary trusts

Chinese customary trusts must be created in accordance with Chinese law and custom to take effect in Hong Kong (Lau Wai Chau).


An agreement that purports to be a lease but lacks an essential requirement can still have contractual effect (Joseph v Nettleton Road Housing Co-operative Ltd).

Leases: forfeiture: relief

A tenant’s right to apply for relief from forfeiture begins when the landlord serves notice (under CPO, s58, LPA 1925, s.146(1)) and ends once the landlord has taken possession pursuant to a judgment ordering that he be given possession. A tenant has a right to apply for relief even after a peaceable re-entry (Billson v Residential Apartments Ltd).

Leases: notice to quit

An ultimatum from a landlord to a tenant requiring the tenant to buy the property or leave might conceivably be construed as a notice to quit (Clarke v Swaby).

Proprietary estoppel: assurance: detrimental reliance: burden of proof

Where there have been assurances and conduct from which reliance can be inferred, the burden of proof shifts to the property owner in a proprietary estoppel claim. The fact that the assurance was not the only cause of the conduct is not fatal (there can be mixed motives). Giving full effect to the assurance might be disproportionate (Campbell v Griffin).


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