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Taylor v Crotty

On a true construction of an option to purchase clause contained in a tenancy agreement the tenants had validly executed the option in accordance with the agreement and the judge had been right to award specific performance of the option.

13 October 2006

The appellant landlords (T) appealed against a decision awarding specific performance of an option to purchase contained in an agreement in favour of the respondent tenants (C). T had granted C a tenancy for a five-year term. The agreement contained a clause granting C an option to purchase the freehold. C wrote to T stating it was their wish to execute the option and for T to take the letter as notice of their intention. T refused to accept the notice on the basis that C owed rent and had breached the terms of the agreement. T subsequently issued possession proceedings and C counterclaimed for specific performance of the execution of the option to purchase. The judge held that on a true construction of the clause, C had to give three months’ notice of their intention to execute the option to purchase within the first two years of the term and that they had done that. T contended that: (1) the judge was wrong to conclude that the option had been correctly executed as the clause re...

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