If a covenant for quiet enjoyment of the property is not expressly given in the lease, then one will be implied. The express covenant is usually qualified to extend to the unlawful acts of the landlord, or the lawful acts of anyone claiming through him. The implied covenant is similarly qualified. It will not therefore apply to an interruption in enjoyment by anyone with a superior title to the landlord, such as a head lessor as regards the lease of a subtenant as in Celsteel Ltd. v. Alton House Holdings Ltd. (No. 2) (1986),1 unless the wording of an express covenant is made to cover a head lessor specifically, as it was held to do in Queensway Marketing Ltd. v. Associated Restaurants Ltd. (1984).2 The covenant applies to the physical enjoyment of the premises, but not to a mere inconvenience. Thus in Owen v. Gadd (1956) a tenant was able to recover damages for breach of the covenant where a landlord erected scaffolding outside the door and window of his shop, thereby interrupting his business. In view of the Court of Appeal case of Goldmile Properties Ltd. v. Lechouritis (2003), the breach of the covenant in this case must be considered in the context of any covenant by the landlord to repair, and provided that the landlord is reasonable in carrying out repairs with the minimum of disturbance to the tenant, scaffolding for six months may not amount to a breach (see Chapter 9.1).
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- Obligations implied on behalf of the landlord
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