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Taylor Fashions Ltd v Liverpool Victoria Trustees Co Ltd

Facts

  • Joint appeal – two tenants acted in reliance on options to purchase their respective freehold estates by carrying out substantial improvements

Issue

  • Could the landlords be estopped from denying the options to purchase?

Decision

  • Yes in one case, no in the other

Reasoning

  • Where one landlord had encouraged the works, proprietary estoppel operated, even though the options were registrable and should have been registered
  • Although the 5 criteria set out in Willmott v Barber (1880) may be relevant in acquiescence (non-active encouragement) cases, generally, it is only required that a landlord acts dishonestly or unconscionably to the detriment of a claimant
  • It is not required that a landlord knows that the claimant’s mistaken belief is mistaken
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