Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. Any information contained in this case summary does not constitute legal advice and should be treated as educational content only.

Sovmots Investments Ltd v SSE [1979]

327 words (1 pages) Case Summary

17th Jun 2019 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Sovmots Investments Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment [1979] AC 144

Property Law – Compulsory Purchase – Ancillary rights


A 150 year lease was granted to S Ltd (appellant) who built an office complex. 36 residential maisonettes were on top of the office complex but were not inhabited. The London Borough Council (LBC) purchased the flats as a leasehold. A special right of access was granted over the lifts and stairs. Ancillary rights were expressly passed in the conveyance (water, gas, electricity). LBC subleased the flats to B Ltd (appellant). A public inquiry found that even though LBC did not purchase the flats as a freehold, it did not invalidate the compulsory purchase as LBC had grounds to do so under s 189(1) of the Housing Act 1957 (the Act). The appellants objected.


Whether the maisonettes were houses under the definition and whether the ancillary rights were required to be specified in the compulsory purchase order.


The appeal was allowed. Wheeldon v Burrows was considered, finding that the ancillary rights sought to be acquired did not pass under the first rule of Wheeldon. Instead, it related to voluntary conveyances for the sale of land and was established on the principle that a grantor could not derogate from his own grant. It did not apply to a compulsory purchase. Further the ancillary rights did not suffice s 62 of the Law of Property Act 1925 as it could not operate unless there had been some diversity of ownership or occupation of the quasi-dominant and quasi-servient tenements to the conveyance. The ancillary rights did not pass by necessary implication even though the definition of a “house” under s 189(1) of the Act was wide.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "UK Law"

UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

Related Articles