S & E Promotions v Tobin Brothers

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Citation: S & E Promotions v Tobin Brothers (1994) 122 ALR 637.

This information can be found in the Textbook: Edgeworth et all, Sackville and Neave's Property Law Cases and Materials, 8th edition, Lexis Nexis, 2008, pp. 403-4 [4.135].

Contents

Background facts

  • S&E owned Crown land. They sub-let the land to the Tobin brothers, expiring 30 June 1991.
  • Tobin had an option, beginning 30 March 1991, to renew for a further 3 years.
  • However, before this, in 1988, S&E began negotiating a new sublease with Tobin, with a higher rental and longer maximum term of 27 years. Before finalised, S&E sold a half share of the lease to a third party, M.
  • Negotiations continued nonetheless between S&E, Tobin and M. The new sublease was stated to commenced on 1 July 1988, but S&E and M did not execute it until 10 May 1991, when Tobin surrendered the original lease.
  • By that time, Tobin’s options in both subleased had expired - because Tobin believed that they could remain as tenant for 27 years.
  • On the expiry of the original term of the new sublease, M served a notice of termination upon Tobin.

Legal issues

Judgement

  • In March 1991, M came under a duty to inform Tobin Brothers that the assumption – that it was unnecessary to exercise any option under the proposed new sublease – was wrong.
  • The circumstance that the term under an agreement for lease is about to expire or indeed has expired is no bar to the jurisdiction of a court of equity to grant relief in the nature of specific performance of that agreement.
  • Tobin win.
  • Note: Tobin won the case although this was a commercial context.

References

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