Willmott v Barber (1880)
- Barber, the lessee of some land, purported to grant a sub-lease to Willmott, in breach of covenant
- Willmott, the purported sub-lessee, in reliance on an option to purchase Barber’s head lease (interest), laid out the foundations for a timber yard
- Barber’s lessor, the landowner, did nothing to stop Willmott from laying out foundations, and purported to terminate Willmott’s (and Barber’s) leases
- Could Willmott, by way of declaration for specific performance, be allowed to exercise his option, irrespective of the tenancy terminations?
- A court would not force a defendant (Barber) to act in breach of covenant
- There are 5 ingredients for proprietary estoppel:
- The claimant must have made a mistake as to his legal rights
- The claimant must have performed acts in reliance on this mistake
- The defendant must know of the existence of his own right (which is inconsistent with the claimant’s mistake)
- The defendant must know of the claimant’s mistake
- The defendant must have encouraged the claimant’s mistake or abstained from asserting his legal rights
Posted in Land Law Revision Notes.
This page was last updated on 24th April 2015