Michael Gerson (Leasing) Limited v Greatsunny Limited 17 June 2010 (unreported)
Greatsunny was the freeholder of premises which it had let to a third party tenant, K. K leased various items of equipment from Gerson which it installed at the premises. Greatsunny and Gerson agreed between themselves that “in the event that the lease is determined we [Greatsunny] will give you [Gerson] notice of the termination and thereafter 28 days in which to remove the equipment”. K went into administration and Greatsunny determined the lease. It informed Gerson of this orally but Gerson took no steps to recover the equipment within 28 days. Greatsunny relet the premises and equipment to a third party. Gerson argued that the oral notice was insufficient and that its 28 days had accordingly not yet started to run.
The court found in favour of Greatsunny. The starting point was that once the equipment was installed at the premises it become a fixture and was therefore part of the premises and could only be removed in accordance with the contractual arrangements agreed. There was nothing express in the agreement which required notices to be in writing and nor was there any general presumption of this as a matter of law. In particular, the effect of the service provisions set out in section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925 was not to impose a requirement for service of notice in writing where the contract did not otherwise require this.