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No. 7. — Wood v. Tate, 2 Bos. & P. (N. R.) 255-257.
borough of Morpeth," and the bailiffs are the persons * whose duty it is to collect and receive the rents of the [* 256] corporation. The aldermen, it is true, are parties to the lease, and the reddendum is to them, as well as "the bailiffs and burgesses,” but it is to them in their corporate, and not in their individual capacity; for it is to them and their“ successors,” not " their heirs, executors, and administrators." The lease, indeed, throughout every part, appears to have been intended as a corporation lease, though, when the parties execute, by mistake they affix their private seals instead of affixing the corporation seal.
Up to this time the rent that has accrued has been paid to the bailiffs of the borough. The usage of the borough with respect to the mode of keeping the corporation seal is stated on the case, and, consistently with that usage, the bailiffs may have a right to lease the lands of the corporation, though to a certain degree under the control of the aldermen. Clearly the introduction of the aldermen into this lease was a blunder. This being the case, I can only consider this to have been intended to be a corporation lease of corporation lands to the plaintiff, and to have been executed in a blundering manner. The plaintiff has entered and paid his rent from time to time to the bailiffs of the borough, who are the proper persons to receive it.
The lease then being void in consequence of the blunder in the mode of its execution, is not the plaintiff tenant from year to year? And half a year's rent being now due, have not the corporation a right to distrain for that rent ? That appears to me to be the plain result of all the facts stated in the case. Supposing the lease to have been properly executed, the only question would be, whether the introduction of the names of those persons who happened to be aldermen of the borough at the time of the execution would make the lease void? As at present advised, I think all that is introduced about the aldermen might be rejected as surplusage; and if so, the result would be * the same as it will be from our considering the lease [* 257] void, and the tenancy as a tenancy from year to year, with half a year's rent due.
ROOKE, J. I am of the same opinion. Supposing the bailiffs and burgesses to have granted a lease, and the aldermen to have refused to allow the corporation seal to be affixed, might they not have been compelled by mandamus ? The question intended to be brought before us is, whether the aldermen are an integral part of
No. 7. — Wood v. Tate, 2 Bos. & P. (N. R.) 257.— Notes.
the corporation or not. That question we cannot decide upon this case. The rent has been received from this plaintiff during the space of eleven years, and now the aldermen want to put their negative on its being received as heretofore.
CHAMBRE, J. This case does not bring before us the question that was intended to be raised, nor do I see how that question could be brought before us in such an action. The only ques
. tion at present to be decided is, under whom the plaintiff holds as tenant of the premises upon which the distress has been taken? It has been contended, that he holds under the aldermen; but that is contrary to all the facts stated in the case. Hitherto he has paid his rent to the persons whose duty it is to collect the corporation rents. Possibly the aldermen may have the power to control the use of the corporation seal, but when used the lease belongs to the principal officers of the corporation. It is enough, however, to say, we can see a tenancy from year to year under the corpora. tion. It matters not what other persons have signed the lease, if it be signed by the proper officers. I agree with my LORD CHIEF JUSTICE and my Brother RookE in thinking, that in this case the material issues, – viz., those on the recognizance, must be entered for the defendant. The other issues will be for the plaintiff.
The principal case was followed by the Court of Eschequer in Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England v. Merral (1869), L. R., 4 Ex. 162, 38 L. J. Ex. 93, 20 L. T. 573, 17 W. R. 676, where the agents of a corporation agreed with the defendant for the demise to him of a house for three years, the defendant agreeing to put and maintain the house in tenantable repair, and so to deliver it up at the end of the term. The defendant occupied for the three years and held for tro years more paying the reserved rent. On his quitting the premises pursuant to a six months' notice the plaintiffs sued for dilapidations. The objection was taken that the agreement from which the obligation arose was not under the seal of the corporation. The Court held, applying the rule of the principal case, that the defendant was for the last two years tenant from year to year of the Corporation upon the terms of the agreement, and held him liable accordingly. “In Wood v.
Tate," observes KELLY, C. B., “there was an equitable obligation on the corporation, and that equitable obligation supported the implication of a tenancy from year to year, and gave them a right to distrain for the rent, that is, to pursue a legal and not merely an equitable
No. 8. – Gray v. Stait, 11 Q. B. D. 668.
remedy.” BRAMWELL, B., says: “The Court there (in Wood v. Tate) decided that there was a good common law tenancy between the corporation as landlord and an individual as tenant, on common law considerations only, though without the seal of the corporation.' CLEASBY, B., after observations showing that the conditions under which the tenant has occupied and paid rent were binding on the corporation so that they could not have turned him out, says: “If then the conditions in the demise under which the tenant is in possession, operate in his favour or against the corporation and bind them, he is clearly tenant from year to year, subject to the terms of the same demise, so far as they are applicable to a yearly tenancy.”
The last mentioned case, as well as the principal case, is distinguished in Mayor, &c. of Kidderminster v. Hardwicke (1873), L. R., 9 Ex. 13, 43 L. J. Ex. 9, where there was a sale of market-tolls by an auctioneer authorized by resolution under seal of the corporation. The agreement was not signed by the auctioneer, but by another officer of the corporation, and no possession was had under it.
The Law of Distress Amendment Act, 1888 (51 & 52 Vict. c. 21), by s. 7, enacts that no person shall act as bailiff to levy a distress unless he shall be authorized to act as a bailiff by a certificate in writing under the hand of a County Court judge. It has been held under this section that a managing director of a limited company, who levied a distress upon goods of the company's tenant without having any certificate to act as bailiff under the section, was a trespasser. Hogarth v. Jennings (7 May, 1892), 1892, 1 Q. B. 907, 61 L. J. Q. B. 601, 66 L. T. 821, 40 W. R. 517.
The statutory power (under 11 Geo. II. c. 19, s. 1) to follow goods fraudulently removed, does not extend the power under 8 Anne, c. 14, ss. 6 & 7, so as to authorize a distraint made after the tenancy has come to an end.
Gray v. Stait. 11 Q. B. D. 668-674 (s. c. 52 L. J. Q. B. 412; 49 L. T. 288; 31 W. R. 662). Landlord and Tenant. Distress. Fraudulent Removal of Goods. Termi
nation of Tenancy. A landlord cannot follow and distrain his tenant's goods which have  been fraudulently removed to prevent a distress for rent due, if at the time
No. 8. — Gray v. Stait, 11 Q. B. D. 668, 669.
of the distress the tenant's interest in the demised premises has come to an end and he is no longer in possession.
The plaiutiff was tenant to the defendant of a house. The defendant having terininated the tenancy, the plaintiff reinoved his goods on the day of its termination, and on the same day gave up possession of the house to the defendant. One quarter's rent was due on the day when the tenancy terminated, and as that remained unpaid, within thirty days of the removal the defendant followed the plaintiff's goods to the place of removal, and there distrained them. An action having been brought for wrongful distress, the jury found that the goods had been fraudulently removed in order to prevent a distress :
Held, that, notwithstanding the finding of the jury, the plaintiff was entitled to judgment.
This was an action for wrongful distress, and was tried before LOPES, J., in Middlesex, when the following facts were proved :
The plaintiff was tenant to the defendant, Stait, of a dwellinghouse, 2, Stamford Brook Cottages, Hammersmith, and the defendant Hayes was a broker. The plaintiff's tenancy was determined by the defendant, Stait, on the 29th of September, 1881, and on that day the plaintiff gave up possession to that defendant,
and removed to Pavilion Road, Turnham Green. At the [* 669] time when * the plaintiff left, the sum of £7 108., being
the quarter's rent due on the 29th of September, was owing to the defendant. On the 18th day of October certain men broke and entered the plaintiff's dwelling-house, Pavilion Road, and distrained and took the goods of the plaintiff as a distress for the arrears of rent, and continued in the plaintiff's dwelling-house for eight days. The men who distrained the plaintiff's goods were employed by the defendant, Hayes, and they acted with the knowledge and authority and by the direction of the defendant Hayes and also of the defendant Stait.
The defence was that the plaintiff had fraudulently and clandestinely carried off from 2, Stamford Brook Cottages, his goods and chattels, and had conveyed them to Pavilion Road in order to prevent the defendant Stait from distraining them. The plaintiff's goods were removed on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of September. Within thirty days after the removal of the plaintiff's goods the servants of the defendant Hayes, acting as agents for the defendant Stait, entered into the plaintiff's dwelling-house in Pavilion Road, and there seized and took his goods and chattels as a distress for the rent.
The jury found that the plaintiff had removed his goods fraudulently
LOPES, J., was of opinion that the question of law to be determined was whether a landlord could follow the tenant's goods after the tenancy had expired, and after the tenant had abandoned the demised premises. In the present case the distress was clearly illegal, unless it could be justified under 11 Geo. II. c. 19, s. 1. That statute was substantially a re-enactment of 8 Anne, c. 14, s. 2 (repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act, 1867, 30 & 31 Vict. C. 59), which was intended to apply to only two classes of cases,
- namely, (1) existing tenancies, and (2) those cases where tenancies had existed and the former tenants were holding over. If the statute had been intended to have a wider operation there would have been no necessity for ss. 6, 7; and the powers of the landlord were not carried further by 11 Geo. II. c. 19, s. 1. The learned Judge, therefore, ordered judgment to be entered for the plaintiff for 1s.
The defendants appealed.
* J. M. Moorsom, for the defendants. The question is [* 670] whether 11 Geo. II. C. 19, s. 1, applies where the tenancy has expired. The power to follow goods clandestinely removed in order to avoid a distress, was originally conferred by 1 8 Anne,
1 By 8 Anne, c. 14, 8. 2, power was done if such lease or leases had not been given to a landlord to distrain goods ended or determined.” fraudulently removed within the space of Sect. 7: “Provided that such distress five days. This enactment is repealed by be made within the space of six calendar the Statute Law Revision Act, 1867 (30 months after the determination of such & 31 Vict. c. 59).
lease, and during the continuance of such By 8 Anne, c. 14, s. 6, “And whereas landlord's title or interest, and during tenants pur auter vie, and lessees for the possession of the tenant from whom years or at will, frequently hold over the such arrears became due.” tenements to them demised after the By 11 Geo. II. c. 19, s. 1 : “In case any determination of such leases; and whereas tenant or tenants, lessee or lessees, for after the determination of such or any life or lives, term of years, at will, sufferother leases, no distress can by law be ance, or otherwise, of any messuages, made for any arrears of rent that grew lands, tenements, or hereditaments, upon due on such respective leases before the the demise or holding whereof any rent determination thereof; it is hereby enacted is or shall be reserved, due, or made by the authority aforesaid that ... it payable, shall fraudulently or clandesshall and may be lawful for any person tinely convey away or carry off or from or persons having any rent in arrear or such premises, his, her, or their goods due upon any lease for life or lives, or or chattels, to prevent the landlord or for years, or at will, ended or determined, lessor, landlords or lessors, from disto distrain for such arrears, after the training the same for arrears of rent determination of the said respective leases, so reserved, due, or made payable ; it in the same manner as they might have shall and may be lawful to and for