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Alexis Michaela Cecile Blumentahl v The Church Commissioners for England [2004] EWCA Civ 1688

Disputing the court’s jurisdiction – Lands Tribunal – Modification – Positive covenants – Restrictive covenants – Lands Tribunal’s jurisdiction – User obligations – Occupation of leased premises – Positive obligation – Restricted user – Unreasonable result – s 84 Law of Property Act 1925

14 January 2005

SUMMARY In the context of a particular lease, a covenant requiring the occupation of premises by a particular organisation was a restrictive covenant so that the Lands Tribunal had jurisdiction under the Law of Property Act 1925, s 84 to consider an application to modify it. The appellant landlord (C) appealed against a decision that the Lands Tribunal had jurisdiction to determine an application by the respondent tenant (B) to modify certain covenants in a lease. The lease had contained covenants specifying that certain parts of a building had to be occupied by a particular organisation together with accommodation for a housekeeper employed by that organisation. The organisation ceased to occupy the property at the end of their sublease. By agreement with C a deed of variation of those user covenants had been executed to allow for residential occupation of the part formerly occupied by the organisation. B applied to the tribunal for further modification of the use...

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