• In the case of IDC Group Ltd v Clark 1992 1 EGLR 187, it was held that contractual licences are not considered proprietary interests in land.

Facts of the Case

  • A licence had been granted in a 1969 lease allowing the owners of one property to use, as a fire escape, a door which led into another property.
  • The second property was sold, and the new owner then blocked up the door.
  • The first property owners applied for a court ruling to grant that the licence created an easement which game them a right to use the escape route.
  • At first instance this was denied.

Issues in IDC Group Ltd v Clark 1992 1 EGLR 187

  • Was an easement created and therefore could it bind a successor of the land.

Held by Court of Appeal

  • Appeal dismissed.

Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson  

  • Held that the lower court had been correct in holding that the term in the lease merely granted a licence but did not create an easement and therefore was not binding on the successor.
  • “The indications being far from clear as to what the parties intended, I think that one has to take this as being a professionally drawn deed in which the draftsman has deliberately chosen to use the word ‘license’ and not the ordinary words associated with the grant of an easement. Therefore, since there is nothing sufficiently clearly pointing in any other direction, I reach the conclusion that the deed did only create a personal license.” Pg10.