Archive for the ‘Walsh v Lonsdale’ Category

There is no equitable lease unless specific performance of the agreement would be ordered

September 15, 2014

In Warmington v Miller ([1973] QB 877, CA (Eng)) M’s lease contained a covenant prohibiting him from assigning, underletting or parting with possession of part only of the demised premises. He entered into an agreement with W to grant W a tenancy of part of the demised premises but refused to execute the underlease. W sought specific performance.

This failed since specific performance would not be awarded ‘where the result would be a breach by the defendant of a contract with a third party or would compel the defendant to do that which he is not lawfully competent to do.’ (at 886 per Stamp LJ).

There was no equitable lease, the rule in Walsh v Lonsdale did not apply, unless the lessee was entitled to specific performance. (at 887 per Stamp LJ).

Michael Lower

The rule in Walsh v Lonsdale

September 22, 2010

An agreement to create or transfer an interest in land in operates in equity to create or transfer that interest. This is so provided that equity would decree specific performance of the contract.

Walsh v Lonsdale ((1882) LR 21 Ch.D. 9) concerned a contract to grant a seven year lease of a building. Jessel MR said:

‘The tenant holds under an agreement for a lease. he holds, therefore, under the same terms in equity as if a lease had been granted, it being a case in which both parties admit that relief is capable of being given by specific performance.’ (at 14 – 15)