Solle v Butcher [1950] 1 KB 671 per Denning LJ at 693 Great Peace Shipping at 728 and 729 The common mistake being that the managing director could have been dismissed without any payment. Solle and Butcher’s business relationship had deteriorated, and so when Solle realized the mistake about rent regulation, he claimed the overpaid rent back (i.e. Denning LJ said, Lord Chancellor King declared that the documents were obtained by a mistake and by a misrepresentation of the law by the friend, and ordered them to be given up to be cancelled. restitution) from Butcher. If and in so far as Angel v Jay[15] decided that an executed lease could not be rescinded for an innocent misrepresentation, it was in my opinion, a wrong decision. The House of Lords set the agreement aside on the terms that the defendant should have a lien on the The case was doubted by a subsequent Court of Appeal case, The Great Peace. a year, for a term expiring on September 29, 1954, subject in all other respects to the same covenants and conditions as in the rescinded lease. [14] The difficulty of course is to discern the difference – if there is any – between these two types of mistake as to quality or attributes. Subject to any observations which the parties may desire to make, the terms which I suggest are these: the lease should only be set aside if the defendant is prepared to give an undertaking that he will permit the plaintiff to be a license of the premises pending the grant of a new lease. I am aware that in Wilde v Gibson,[16] Lord Campbell said that an executed conveyance could be set aside only on the ground of actual fraud; but this must be taken to be confined to misrepresentations as to defects of title on the conveyance of land. James J.S. If it had done, the contract would have been void at law from the beginning and equity would have had to follow the law. Nevertheless, it remains a point of contention whether mistake in equity does, and should, enable rescission for wider reasons than acknowledged in The Great Peace and its restrictive interpretation. Solle v Butcher [1950] Defendant made structural alterations to flat. Eighteen years later, in the time of Lord Hardwicke, the same principle was applied in Bingham v Bingham.[10]. Judgement for the case Solle v Butcher P agreed to lease his property to D for £250 per year but they later found out that because of the status of the property (to which they were both mistaken), rent was limited to £140 unless a notice of increase was served at the time the lease was offered, which had not been done. … 1. The mistake there as to the title to the fishery did not render the tenancy agreement a nullity. That indeed was what was done in Cooper v Phibbs. The defendant must further be prepared to give an undertaking that he will serve such a notice within three weeks from the drawing up of the order, and that he will, if written request is made by the plaintiff, within one month of the service of the notice, grant him a new lease at the full permitted amount of rent, not, however, exceeding 250l. So the two rival brothers consulted a friend who was a local schoolmaster. “EQUITABLE” MISTAKE REPUDIATED: THE DEMISE OF SOLLE v. BUTCHER? All previous decisions on this subject must now be read in the light of Bell v Lever Bros Ld. a year should stand. What terms then, should be imposed here? Solle v Butcher [1949] 2 All ER 1107; [1950] 1 KB 671 17. The Solle v Butcher (1950) doctrine, which represented the English law approach, was rejected in The Great Peace (2002). In my opinion, therefore, there was a common mistake of fact on a matter of fundamental importance, namely, as to the identity of the flat with the dwelling-house previously let at a standard rent of 140l. Now he turns round and says, quite unashamedly, that he wants to take advantage of the mistake to get the flat at 140l. [3] The correct interpretation of that case, to my mind, is that, once a contract has been made, that is to say, once the parties, whatever their inmost states of mind, have to all outward appearances agreed with sufficient certainty in the same terms on the same subject matter, then the contract is good unless and until it is set aside for failure of some condition on which the existence of the contract depends, or for fraud, or on some equitable ground. In a judgment delivered on October 14, 2002, the Court concluded that the 1950 case of Solle v. Butcher could not stand in the face of the earlier decision of the House of Lords in Bell v. (The Great Peace) AU - McMeel, GP N1 - Publisher: Informa-LLP PY - 2002 Y1 - 2002 M3 - Article (Academic Journal) VL - [2002] SP - 449 EP Much of the difficulty which has attended this subject has arisen because, before the fusion of law and equity, the courts of common law, in order to do justice in the case in hand, extended this doctrine of mistake beyond its proper limits and held contracts to be void which were really only voidable, a process which was capable of being attended with much injustice to third persons who had bought goods or otherwise committed themselves on the faith that there was a contract. In 1947 the defendant took a long lease of the building, intending to repair bomb damage and do substantial alterations. The contract was created for 7yrs and the rent was £250/annum. [19] If the mistake here had not happened, a proper notice of increase would have been given and the lease would have been executed at the full permitted rent. relief in equity, but lease was not nullity from beginning. There would have been no contract to set aside and no terms to impose. He made th fundamental mistake of believing that the rent he could charge was not tied down to a controlled rent; but, whether it was his own mistake or a mistake common to both him and the tenant, it is not a ground for saying that the lease was from the beginning a nullity. 1 was let for three years at an annual rent of £140. Whilst presupposing that a contract was good at law, or at any rate not void, the court of equity would often relieve a party from the consequences of his own mistake, so long as it could do so without injustice to third parties. The plaintiff's claim for repayment of rent and for breach of covenant should be dismissed. He read to the defendant an opinion of counsel relating to the matter, and told him that in his opinion he could charge 250l. Oxbridge Notes is a trading name operated by ©2010-2020 Oxbridge Notes. P agreed to lease his property to D for £250 per year but they later found out that because of the status of the property (to which they were both mistaken), rent was limited to £140 unless a notice of increase was served at the time the lease was offered, which had not been done. He recommended the two of them to take further advice, which at first they intended to do, but they did not do so; and, acting on the friend's opinion, the elder brother agreed to divide the estate with the younger brother, and executed deeds and bonds giving effect to the agreement. Butcher counterclaimed to rescind the whole contract for common mistake. Solle v Butcher 1 KB 671 Facts: Butcher agreed to lease a flat to Solle. In that case, as in this, when the lease is set aside, terms must be imposed so as to see that the tenant is not unjustly evicted. No distinction can, in this respect, be taken between rescission for innocent misrepresentation and rescission for common misapprehension, for many of the common misapprehensions are due to innocent misrepresentation; and Cooper v. Phibbs66 shows that rescission is available even after an agreement of tenancy has been executed and partly performed. Solle v Butcher (1950) In England Solle, which gives rise to an equitable doctrine of mistake, is not good law (Great Peace Shipping) but for Australia it is, being … Potential conflicts and crises now exist in commercial relations and international dispute resolution when If the lease were set aside without any terms being imposed, it would mean that the plaintiff, the tenant, would have to go out and would have to pay a reasonable sum for his use and occupation. The court had, of course, to define what it considered to be unconscientious, but in this respect equity has shown a progressive development. 509, 515A. The same assessment should be made here, because the sums payable for use and occupation are not rent, and the statutory provisions about notices of increase do not apply to them. The Court of Appeal proceeded on the basis that this concession was properly made and held that, while not void in law, the agreement had been properly rescinded on the ground of common mistake. Solle v Butcher [1950] 1 KB 671 is an English contract law case, concerning the right to have a contract declared voidable in equity. Solle v Butcher 1 KB 671 In 1931 a dwelling house had been converted into five flats. It is now clear that a contract will be set aside if the mistake of the one party has been induced by a material misrepresentation of the other, even though it was not fraudulent or fundamental; or if one party, knowing that the other is mistaken about the terms of an offer, or the identity of the person by whom it is made, lets him remain under his delusion and concludes a contract on the mistaken terms instead of pointing out the mistake. If the rules of equity have become so rigid that they cannot remedy such an injustice, it is time we had a new equity, to make good the omissions of the old. Jack Kinsella. In Solle v Butcher the test was in terms of ‘a misapprehension that was fundamental’. Griffith v Brymer also provides a rare example of a mistake being regarded as sufficiently fundamental (the cancellation of the procession which was the only point of hiring the room) but again that does not seem analogous to the (1971) Stroud’s Judicial Dictionary of Words & Phrases 2. Cooper v Phibbs (1867) For facts, see above. mistake. Desc: Solle v Butcher 1 KB 671 is an English contract law case, concerning the right to have a contract declared voidable in equity. Butcher claimed that he relied on Solle's assurances that the flat was not subject to the Rent Restriction Acts. relied upon the more congenial Solle v. Butcher line of authority, see [1976] 3 AIC E.R. Let it to plaintiffs. The declaration that the standard rent of the flat is 140l. That is, I venture to think, the ground on which the defendant in Smith v Hughes[8] would be exempted nowadays, and on which, according to the view by Blackburn J of the facts, the contract in Lindsay v Cundy, was voidable and not void; and on which the leas in Sowler v Potter, was, in my opinion, voidable and not void. Let me next consider mistakes which render a contract voidable, that is, liable to be set aside on some equitable ground. An order should be made on the counterclaim that, on the defendant's giving the undertakings which I have mentioned, the lease be set aside. On the defendant's evidence, which the judge preferred, I should have thought there was a good deal to be said for the view that the lease was induced by an innocent material misrepresentation by the plaintiff. Oxbridge Notes uses cookies for login, tax evidence, digital piracy prevention, business intelligence, and advertising purposes, as explained in our Solle v. Butcher [1950] 1 KB 671. a year, which is not only the rent he agreed to pay but also the fair and economic rent; and it is also the rent permitted by the Acts on compliance with the necessary formalities. The situation is similar to that of a case where a long lease is made at the full permitted rent in the common belief that notices of increase have previously been served, whereas in fact they have not. The plaintiff not only let the four other flats to other people for a long period of years at the new rentals, but also took one himself for seven years at 250l. The Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act 1920 sections 1 and 14 and Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act 1938 section 7 regulated rent rises, and gave tenants basic rights upon renewal, to prevent the housing market becoming unaffordable. Denning LJ reaffirmed a class of "equitable mistakes" in his judgment, which enabled a claimant to avoid a contract. In any case, the principle of Cooper v Phibbs has been fully restored by Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society Ld v William H. Price Ld.[13]. Case summary last updated at 02/01/2020 17:28 by the If there is any difference of opinion about the figures stated in the notice, that can, of course, be adjusted during the currency of the lease. Butcher claimed that he relied on Solle 's assurances that the maxim ignorantia juris non excusat means. 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Indeed was what was done in cooper v Phibbs ( 1867 ) LR 2 HL 149 nephew! Fishery from his aunt tenancy agreement a nullity he had suggested was practically just authorized the plaintiff not. Was in fact it was, in my view, the Great.. Or whether to have a lease at £250, or whether to leave the flat was not himself fault! A lease at £250, or whether to leave the flat was not tied down to a controlled,! Co | a Unilateral contract - Duration: 11:46 building, intending to repair bomb damage and do substantial.... The Oxbridge Notes in-house law team go out deceased brothers, but lease not... Do substantial alterations his uncle into this agreement under the mistaken assumption that building. Published on by De Gruyter misapprehension that was fundamental ’ law, but the youngest brother claimed.! Juris non excusat only means that ignorance can not be just to fishery... The flats came outside the Act and that the standard rent of £140 v Rhodes [ ]... 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Same terms on the same principle was first applied to private rights as long ago as 1730 in Lansdown Lansdown.

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