Hayward v Chaloner: CA 1968

The alleged tenant (the rector of a parish) knew that rent should have been paid but had not paid it. ‘Only one of the previous rectors gave evidence. He was the Rev. Richard Phillips (dates) He knew the rectory cottages and said that the land behind the cottages was used by the occupants, including the land in dispute. He added that the land was sadly neglected and an old couple lived there. He never paid any rent for it. Mr and Mrs Hayward were prominent supporters of the church. He said that he would not expect them to ask him for the 10s. per annum rent.’
Held: A corporation sole may acquire land by adverse possession. Russell LJ said ‘Nor do I doubt the applicability of section 9 (2) to the present case,’ and
‘just because the freeholders were content that the rector should not pay his rent and did not bother to ask for it for all those years. In Moses v Lovegrove in this court it was assumed on all hands that when section 9 apparently operates, adverse possession starts: see especially Lord Evershed, and Romer LJ. The principle clearly accepted was that once the period covered by the last payment of rent expired, the tenant ceased to be regarded by the Limitation Acts as the tenant. This case was not cited to the county court judge. A similar assumption was made in Nicholson v England, under the then existing principles which section 10 (1) was designed to embody. Textbooks to the same effect include Cheshire’s Modern Law of Real property, 9th ed. (1962), pp. 797, 798: Megarry and Wade’s Textbook of the Law of Real Property, 3rd ed. (1966), p. 1010: and Preston and Newsom on Limitation of Actions, 3rd ed. (1953), p.89. I am not aware that the contrary view has been anywhere expressed.’


Russell LJ


[1968] 1 QB 107


Limitation Act 1939


England and Wales


CitedMoses v Lovegrove CA 29-Apr-1952
The tenant had gone into possession under an oral agreement with a rent book. He ceased to pay rent or acknowledge the landlord’s right in 1938. In 1952 the landlord sought to recover possession, and now appealed a finding that the tenant had . .

Cited by:

CitedLodge (T/A JD Lodge) v Wakefield Metropolitan Council CA 21-Mar-1995
The plaintiff had formerly been a tenant of the defendant under an informal tenancy. No rent had been paid since 1974. He claimed to have acquired the land by adverse possession. He gave evidence at trial that if he had been asked to pay rent at any . .
CitedBarton v The Church Commissioners for England ChD 15-Dec-2008
The commissioners claimed a right by prescription to all fish to be taken in a stretch of the River Wye. The claimant was to moor a barge on the river.
Held: The court explained the nature and legal status of fisheries in the law going back to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Limitation

Updated: 23 March 2022; Ref: scu.264078