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Property case law update: November 2011

Smith v Jafton Properties

Citation: Smith v Jafton Properties Ltd – 4.11.11 – CA – [2011] EWCA 1251

Keywords: Lease of land, lease assigned, assignment of parts of lease reflecting flats, collective enfranchisement.

Held: Where a lease of the whole premises was divided by assignments of parts a tenants of each could be qualifying tenants and a right of collective enfranchisement could arise.

Mexfield Housing v Berrisford

Citation: Mexfield Housing v Berrisford – 9.11.11 – SC – [2011] UKSC 52

Keywords: Rule against tenancy for an uncertain term, arrangement terminable by tenant on one month’s notice and by landlord on occurrence of one of several specified events.

Held: Rule against tenancies for an uncertain term confirmed – Prior to 1925 the tenancy created would be a tenancy for life – The tenancy was a tenancy for 90 years terminable on the tenant’s death by one month’s notice pursuant to s149(6) LPA 1925. (Counsel for the Respondent – Jonathan Gaunt QC, Kerry Bretherton & Laura Tweedy)

Sharma v Simposh

Citation: Sharma v Simposh Ltd – 23.11.11 - CA – [2011] EWCA Civ 1383

Keywords: Oral agreement, option, “option holder” withdraw, restitution of money paid under void contract

Held: The option lacked formality and had no contractual effect given the failure to comply with s2 LP(MP)A 1925. Despite invalidity “option holder” received what paid for. Property taken off the market and held available to them to purchase. No restitution where expectations fulfilled and no unjust enrichment.

Zarb & anr v Parry & anr

Citation: Zarb & anr v Parry & anr– 15.11.11 - CA – [2011] EWCA Civ 1306

Keywords: Boundary dispute, adverse possession, proof of consent by predecessor,  interruption of adverse possession.

Held: Implied consent required evidence of acts and words that were probative not merely consistent with permission or consent. Evidence of a loss of control or repossession by the owner (even for a short time) could defeat a claim for adverse possession by demonstrating an interruption in the claimant’s possession during the necessary continuous period.