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Glowing Rooms (Pty) Ltd vs. Levin N O & Others - (28 Mar 2024)

A contracting party is entitled to specific performance of any contractual right

Civil

Present is an appeal against a judgment of the High Court, which granted an eviction order against the appellant from a commercial property, pursuant to a notice of termination in terms of a lease. The central issue in present appeal is whether the eviction order was properly granted or whether the respondents repudiated the lease agreement, and whether on proper interpretation of the agreement as a whole, the respondents had a right to ‘unilaterally’ cancel the agreement. In addition, whether the court should have developed the common law in accordance with constitutional norms and values, to refuse the eviction.

A contracting party is entitled to specific performance of any contractual right. Notions of good faith and fairness have not been elevated to substantive rules of contract. It is only where a term is so unfair, unreasonable or unjust that it is contrary to public policy that a court may refuse to enforce it. This Court has held that to coerce a lessor to conclude a lease agreement with a party it no longer wants as a tenant would be contrary to public policy.

In respect of the validity of the notice of termination, present Court found that the notice was valid as it was not contradictory or confusing. The notice clearly and unambiguously stated that the Trust was exercising a contractual right in terms of clause 2.1 to terminate the lease agreement on one month’s notice. Public policy demands that contracts freely and consciously entered into must be honoured and there was nothing in the implementation of clause 2.1 that was contrary to public policy.

Present matter was purely a commercial dispute about commercial premises. There were no fundamental rights implicated. Nothing on the facts of this matter indicated that there was a need to develop the common law. There was no contractual duty to negotiate and any reliance on a general duty to negotiate in good faith was misplaced. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : EVICTION   NOTICE   LEGALITY  

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