Crewe Services and Investment Corporation v Silk

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date02 December 1998
Date02 December 1998
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)

Court of Appeal

Before Lord Woolf, Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Millett and Lord Justice Robert Walker

Crewe Services and Investment Corporation

Landlord and tenant - breach of tenancy - assessing damages

Damages for breach of tenancy

A judge was wrong to treat undiscounted costs of repair as the diminution in value of the reversion when assessing damages for breach of covenant under a continuing annual agricultural tenancy protected by the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, where the tenancy was of unpredictable duration and it was unlikely that the landlord intended to execute the repairs.

The Court of Appeal so held in a reserved judgment, allowing an appeal as to quantum by the tenant, Mr Gerald Silk, against the order of Mr Recorder Burgess sitting at Winchester County Court on September 10, 1996, whereby he awarded the landlord, Crewe Services and Investment Corporation, £15,940 damages for breaches of covenant under a continuing annual agricultural tenancy.

The notice of appeal included the following grounds: that the judge erred in law in finding that the value of the reversion had been diminished by the tenant's breach when no direct evidence of diminution had been adduced; that the landlord had failed to prove or quantify any diminution in the value of the reversion; and that the judge erred in holding that the value of the reversion had been diminished in the amount of his own estimate of the cost of repairs.

Mr Clifford Darton for the tenant; Mr Stephen Jourdan for the landlord.

LORD JUSTICE ROBERT WALKER said that Mr Darton submitted correctly that the measure of damages for breach of a repairing covenant during a continuing tenancy was the diminution in the value of the reversion resulting from the breach: see Gooderham & Worts v Canadian Broadcasting CorporationELR ([1947] AC 66, 83) and Conquest v EbbettsELR ([1896] AC 490, 494).

The judge had relied strongly on the Court of Appeal's decision inJones v HerxheimerELR ([1950] 2 KB 106, 116-117) where Lord Justice Jenkins had said:

"We find nothing in the earlier authorities to justify the conclusion, as a matter of law, that in no circumstances can the fact that repairs are necessary, and the cost of those repairs, be taken as at least prima facie evidence of damage to the value of the reversion and of the extent of such damage…"

That was a case where the tenancy of four rooms in a dwelling house had come to an end, and the cost of putting the rooms into a...

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8 cases
  • Sunlife Europe Properties Ltd v Tiger Aspect Holdings Ltd and Another
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 7 March 2013 a case where the evidence before the court on valuation was incomplete (see: Latimer v Carney [2006] EWCA Civ 1417; Crewe Services & Investment Corp v Silk [1998] 2 EGLR 1). 212 Although Mr Smith's valuation (iv) has not been proved in evidence, it has been referred to extensively and, a......
  • Sameer Karim and Another v Douglas MacDuff Wemyss
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 28 January 2016 assumed that the plaintiff would make some profit. I may add that I think a larger sum might have been awarded." 46 In Crewe Services & Investment Corporation v Silk [1998] 2 EGLR 1 the landlord of an agricultural holding brought an action against its tenant for breach of repairing oblig......
  • Latimer v Carney and Others
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 27 October 2006
    ...sums on repairs. That result is on the face of it surprising and invites scrutiny. In Crewe Services and Investment Corporation v Silk [1998] 35 EG 81, this court, however, gave guidance on what the court should do in the circumstances where the material is less than ideal. That is one of t......
  • Charles Stronach And Others V. James Robertson
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 9 May 2002
    ...1926 S.C. 640; Joyner v. Weeks [1891] 2 Q.B. 31; Fraser v. McDonald (1834) 12 S. 684; Crewe Services & Investment Corporation v. Silk [1998] 2 E.G.L.R. 1; Conquest v. Ebbetts [1896] A.C. 490; Henderson v. Thorn [1893] 2 Q.B. 164; and Scott v. Forbes (1755) Mor. 82. [52]We accept that practi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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