Taylor Fashions v Liverpool Victoria Trustees [1982]

Crabb criticised.
Taylors sought to exercise option to renew lease on
commercial premises.
Option void on a technicality and so could not be
exercised.
But Taylors had already spent large sum improving
facilities in expectation option would be enforceable.
Defendants acquiesced in this work and at time had no reason
to suspect option could be challenged.
Hence fourth of Fry J’s 5 probanda not satisfied.
Could defendants still be estopped from asserting
their strict legal rights?
Oliver J held proprietary estoppel requires broader
test that that set out in Crabb.
Should not be based on preconceived formula.
Should be directed at ascertaining whether, in
particular individual circumstances, it would be unconscionable for a party to
be permitted to deny that which, knowingly or unknowingly, he has allowed or
encouraged another to assume to his detriment.
Yet even applying this broader test, difficult to see
how belief there was a valid option was created or encouraged by defendants.
Taylors had not discharged the responsibility of
showing it was dishonest or unconscionable for defendants to avail themselves
of the technicality.