Last edited 20 Jan 2021

Equitable estoppel

Equitable Estoppel is a defensive doctrine preventing one party from taking unfair advantage of another when, through false language or conduct, the person to be estopped has induced another person to act in a certain way, which resulted in the other person being injured in some way.

If a party leads another party to believe that they will not enforce their strict legal rights, then the Courts will prevent them from doing so at a later stage.

Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd [1947] KB 130 (or the High Trees case) is an English contract law decision in the High Court. It reaffirmed and extended the doctrine of promissory estoppel in contract law in England and Wales. However, the most significant part of the judgment is obiter dicta as it relates to hypothetical facts; that is, the landlord did not seek repayment of the full wartime rent.

Denning J held estoppel to be applicable if ...

... a promise was made which was intended to create legal relations and which, to the knowledge of the person making the promise, was going to be acted on by the person to whom it was made and which was in fact so acted on.

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