Central London Property v High Trees House [1947]

Plaintiff leased defendant block of flats at £2500 per
During war, many flats empty – plaintiff agreed to
reduce rent by half.
By 1945, situation had returned to normal.
Plaintiff’s receivers claimed full rent for future and
for last two quarters of 1945.
Denning J:
Was intention of parties that rent reduction was
temporary while flats could not be filled.
This ceased to apply in early 1945, so action should
But had plaintiff sued for whole period of war, it
would have been estopped.
Application of the principle in Hughes led logically to conclusion that a promise to accept smaller
sum in discharge of larger sum, if acted upon, is binding notwithstanding
absence of consideration.