Landmark Chambers

Home > Resources > Cases


PCE Investors Ltd v Cancer Research UK Peter Smith J [2012] EWHC 884 (Ch)

DATE: 04 Apr 2012

This case confirmed the general rule that rent payable in advance is payable in full on the due date, even if the lease determines prematurely before the term expires. The tenant had proffered rent for the period up to the break date only but was unsuccessful in claiming that it had not been liable to pay the rent for the rest of the quarter. The tenant had agreed to pay rent in advance and as the lease did not contain an apportionment clause, the tenant had failed to pay a full quarter’s rent and its break notice was invalid. The court also rejected an application for permission to amend to include an estoppel claim. The tenant claimed that the landlord should not be entitled to rely on its omission, because the landlord had failed to respond to a request for confirmation that the amount tendered was correct, relying upon Avocet Industrial Estates LLP v Merol Ltd [2011] EWHC 3422 (Ch). The judge disagreed, holding that this would put the landlord in an impossible position and the tenant in a “win win” situation. In the absence of a duty to act in good faith, the parties to commercial transactions are not under any duty to alert each other to mistakes. Consequently, the landlord was not under any positive duty to warn the tenant that it had tendered the wrong amount.