Beasley v D’Arcy: HL 1800

The House upheld the decision of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland to grant the tenant relief from forfeiture. The landlord had cut timber on the land, and the tenant sought damages. The tenant came into Chancery to restrain the landlord’s proceeding for non-payment of rent, and insisted that damages demandable in this collateral way ought to be applied to discharge the rent. There had been an award ascertaining the damage; but it had been made after the time limited for making the award and therefore the matter still rested in damages. At a time when the ejectment was brought, this was the demand which the tenant had against the landlord, an unascertained, unliquidated demand arising from the act of the landlord, affecting the land in the occupation of the tenant. The tenant gave a consent to judgment admitting the rent demanded to be due; but he insisted that he was entitled to a certain sum for damages for cutting the timber. On the answer there was an injunction until the hearing, on the terms of lodging the rent in court, which terms were not complied with: The habere was executed in 1797; the cause was heard in 1798, and an issue directed to try whether the tenant had sustained any and what damage from cutting the timber. The jury found damage in the amount of andpound; 103 6s. A supplemental bill was then filed praying that the tenant might be restored to possession, and the value accounted for in the usual way. The answer insisted on the statute Geo. I stating that the ejectment was brought for non-payment of rent. The cause came on again in 1799, when the plaintiff was declared entitled to restitution, on paying what was due for rent after deducting the damages. That was a case in which the court proceeded, not on a question whether so much was due for rent or not; but there being a collateral demand on the person to whom the rent was to be paid, and the amount of that demand appearing to have been nearly equal to the rent, but the subject of the cross-action, and which could not by any possibility be set-off by way of defence in the ejectment whether this afforded a distinct ground for equitable relief.


(1800) 2 Sch and Lef 403


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBritish Anzani (Felixstowe) Ltd v International Marine Management (UK) Ltd ChD 19-Dec-1978
Money expended by a tenant on discharging his landlord’s covenants will in appropriate circumstances operate as a partial or a complete discharge so as to furnish a defence at law to a claim for unpaid rent; and where the tenant has suffered damage . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.247749