Contracts CAN (winter) Hailey B (Prof: Percy) P ROMISSORY ESTOPPEL It is not a cause of action, but prevents other party from going back on their word (defence). It only works if theres an existing legal relationship Deals with promise going to the future, not a statement about existing or past fact Holds a party to a statement when the recipient relied on the statement and would suffer a detriment if the promising party was allowed to go back on it. Makes some promises enforceable without consideration Hughes v Metropolitan Railway Co: Waiver Landlord did not reject tenants negotiations, but entering into them, landlord waived strict rights or suspended strict rights until negotiations ended. Tenant had reasonable belief that clock would stop during negotiations. Clock starts after negotiations fail. If circumstances arise that create a representation that the promise will not be enforced temporarily, the promise cannot be enforced during that time. Factors: 1. Parties are in an existing contractual relationship 2. Entered into course of negotiations that lead party to believe the other party would not insist on strict rights 3. Party will not be able to enforce its strict legal rights where it would be inequitable Central London Property Trust v High Trees House (1947): Leading Case gratuitous promise for reduced rate for wartime conditions landlord wins, no real reason why they would lose even possible that promise wasnt binding cause no consideration Denning says its binding, but estoppel expires after the wartime conditions are over thus the amount being recovered (not all of it) is recoverable. Cannot go backwards to collect rent, but duration of estoppel indicated duration was only for war If it was intended to be permanent, representor can retract the promise with reasonable notice. PE prevents reliance, but allows promisor to go back on concession with notice. John Burrows Ltd v Subsurface Surveys Ltd 1968 SCC: Habitual nonenforcement is not sufficient representation Representation must be clear and unequivocal; representation must reflect intention to vary strict rights must be evidence that promisor intended to alter the legal relations and waive right intention is key mere friendly indulgence can never be said to be a waiver, thus no PE To have PE, there must be clear objective basis that a party intended not to enforce its strict legal rights. EXAM: look for consideration if not, this is a case that could argue PE or waiver.