Halsall v Brizell: benefit and burden

In Halsall v Brizell ([1957] Ch 169) O and J bought a large area of land near Liverpool and built a housing estate on it. They retained ownership of common parts including the roads and the sewers under them. No easements were granted over these common parts but they were held on express trust for the use and enjoyment of the owners and occupiers of the houses on the estate. The owners covenanted to contribute to the maintenance and repair of the common parts. Decades later, F became the owner of one of the houses. The question was whether, as a successor in title, he was obliged to contribute to the cost of maintenance and repair. Clearly, the burden of this positive covenant had not passed to successors-in-title of the original covenantor. Upjohn J. pointed, out that, ‘it is ancient law that a man cannot take benefit under a deed without subscribing to the obligations thereunder.’ (at p. 182). F clearly wanted to carry on using the estate roads and so he would have to make the contributions.


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