• In the case of Chaudhary v Yavuz [2012] 2 All ER 418, the Court of Appeal ruled on whether the metal staircase constituted as an easement.
  • This case involved easements, equitable interests, land registration and proprietary estoppel.

Facts of the Case

  • C was a building owner while D was the neighbour. C constructed a metal staircase before the property adjacent to the staircase was given to D.
  • D denied C access to the staircase.
  • C attempted to prove in this appeal that the equitable easement gave right of way to C.


  • Did C have an interest?
  • Was there actual occupation?
  • Was the equitable easement binding on conscience of purchaser?

Held by Court of Appeal

  • Appeal allowed – it’s “unconscionable” to deny C’s rights to the staircase that he constructed.

Lloyd LJ

Actual occupation

  • There was no physical presence by individuals so there was no occupation under Williams and Glyn’s Bank v Boland [1981] AC 487.
  • The judge heavily referred to Lloyd v Dugdale [2001] EWCA Civ 1754 where the conscience of the purchaser was impacted.

Rights of the purchaser

  • “In some cases there could also be an interest on the part of the vendor in avoiding a claim by the third party that the vendor had infringed the third party’s rights by selling free from those rights. However, if the reason that the third party’s rights are not enforceable against the purchaser is that the third party has failed to take the proper steps to protect them on the register, there would at least be problems of causation for the third party in making such a claim. Nor would the possibility of such a claim justify reading the contract as requiring the purchaser to undertake an obligation which was not otherwise enforceable against him.” [65]
  • Lyus v Prowsa Developments Ltd [1982] 1 WLR 1044 does not apply in these circumstances because here the easement involved registered land.