8 June 2022

High Court judgment highlights the complexities of refusing consent: Anna Mullins writes for Property Week

Property Litigation Partner, Anna Mullins, has written for Property Week on the recent High Court judgment handed down in Davies-Gilbert v Goacher and Chester [2022] EWHC 969 (Ch).

Part of the claimant’s land benefited from a restrictive covenant, which prevented the defendants from constructing any building without the claimant’s consent. The claimant refused consent but the defendants proceeded to commence building anyway, in the belief that the refusal was unreasonable.

The claimant issued proceedings and, although the refusal was eventually held to be reasonable, the judgment emphasises, not only the importance of the decision-making process when refusing consent, but also the many complexities that practitioners and landowners (and by wider implication landlords and tenants) must consider when refusing consent.

Mullins says: “it is important to remember that the burden of proof for proving that the covenantee’s refusal of consent is unreasonable lies upon the covenantor. It is not up to the covenantee to justify their decision as reasonable”.

The article was first published in Property Week on 7 June 2022 and is available to read in full here, behind the paywall.

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