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Curry's Group v Martin QBD

1 June 2000
The issues

Landlord and Tenant – Rent Dispute

The facts

The Claimant was a tenant of the retail premises with a 25 year lease with 5 yearly rent review. The Defendant was appointed as an independent expert to carry out the first rent review. A dispute arose between the Claimant and the Landlord as to the rent.

The Defendant took Counsel’s advice on the interpretation of the rent review clause and determined the rent at a figure although he recognised that figure to be above the true rental value. The Claimant brought an action claiming the Defendant had been negligent in his enquiries and his assessment.

The decision

Dismissing the claim. The Defendant’s role was more that of a Surveyor valuing a properly and buy its nature this role did not lend itself to absolute precision. See Merrivale Moore Plc v Stratton Parker. It was not a matter of showing a mathematical error therefore. The Claimants had to show that the Defendant’s assessment was one which no reasonable Surveyor would have made. The method he had used was arguably one that might have been employed by some surveyors of the necessary competence.

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