Secretary of State for Defence v Spencer and others

Landlord and tenant – Notice to quit. The claimant Secretary of State for Defence's appeal and the defendant landowners' cross-appeal failed, in a dispute concerning the validity of a notice to quit and the possibility of an equitable set-off. The Chancery Division held that the first defendant could rely upon equitable set-off of unliquidated claims for damages in order to invalidate the notice to pay, because it overstated the rent due, and so to invalidate the notice to quit. Further, the Recorder had been right to hold that the tenant could rely upon equitable set-off for unliquidated damages to invalidate the notice to pay (and therefore the notice to quit), subject to certain limiting criteria.

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