Church Commissioners for England v Nodjoumi (1985)


Effect of notice to forfeit. Where landlord gives statutory notice on one ground but claims possession and succeeds on another ground


Landlords issued notice to forfeit a lease under s.146 LPA 1925 and then by writ claimed forfeiture of the lease for breach of covenant, inter alia in respect of arrears of rent since 1981 and in the mistaken belief that tenant who was an assignee (with the landlord's consent) and was in arrears of rent, had unlawfully assigned. In fact no further assignment had taken Tenants claimed that by issue of the notice of forfeiture landlords had waived the right to proceed for forfeiture on the ground of non-payment of rent and the notice affirmed the continuance of the lease.


The non-payment of rent on the due dates were once and for all breaches capable of waiver, but the the notice was simply a preliminary to actual forfeiture. It was not an unequivocal confirmation of the continuance of the lease. The landlords had not waived their right to forfeit and the notice was valid. They were not barred from claiming forfeiture on other grounds. Issue of the notice was not the same as demanding and accepting rent and there was no waiver.