Pulleng v Curran: CA 1980

The question was whether under the 1977 Act the tenant occupied the premises for residential purposes. The landlord said that a business was also conducted from them.
Held: The tenant had failed to establish that the business use had ceased. The court also his argument that, if his business use had ceased, he was protected by the Act of 1977. ‘There must be tens of thousands of similar leases where the person running the business lives above the shop’. Having once taken the benefit of the 1954 Act to acquire a new tenancy, the tenant could not then switch to claim the benefit of a different statutory regime. The tenant could not claim the protection of the 1977 Act, because the tenancy had been for mixed business and residential uses, and it was not right in principle or appropriate in practice that the tenant should be able to switch his protection from the 1954 Act to the 1977 Act simply by ceasing to use the premises for business purposes.

Sir George Baker P said: ‘[I]t certainly strikes me as a most remarkable conclusion if a tenant, by simply ceasing to carry on his business . . , could then say: ‘I am now in a position that I have the shop and all the premises subject to the Rent Restriction Acts; we have moved under that umbrella, and you, the landlord, can whistle for possession.’ He might indeed, if he was so minded, leave the shop to rot and simply confine himself to his upstairs premises.
The corollary, it seems to me . . is that the tenant could stop, start, stop, start, as long as he liked, juggling between the two Acts of Parliament.’


Sir George Baker P, Cumming-Bruce LJ, Stephenson LJ


(1980) 44 PandCR 58


Rent Act 1977


England and Wales


CitedCheryl Investments v Saldanha CA 1978
Protection was sought under the 1954 Act for premises where the relevant occupation was partly residential and partly for the purposes of a business.
Held: The Act will apply so long as the business activity is a significant purpose of . .

Cited by:

Not BindingWagle v Trustees of Henry Smith’s Charity Kensington Estate CA 1990
The tenant had used the premises for both residential and business use. He claimed that, the business use having ceased, he had the protection of the 1977 Act.
Held: The Pulleng case required te court to reject the tenant’s argument. The . .
CitedPirabakaran v Patel and Another CA 26-May-2006
The landlord had wanted possession. The tenant said that the landlord had been harassing him. The landlord said that the tenancy was a mixed residential and business tenancy and that the 1977 Act did not apply.
Held: The 1977 Act applied. A . .
CitedWebb and Barrett v London Borough of Barnet CA 1988
The authority resisted an application by the tenant to buy the property let as a council dwelling saying that the tenant was using it for mixed residential and business purposes. The tenant said that the business use had finished, and that the . .
CitedTan and Another v Sitkowski CA 1-Feb-2007
The tenant claimed Rent Act protection for his tenancy. He had been rehoused and began his tenancy in 1970 with the ground floor used as a shop, and the first floor as living accomodation. He later abandoned the business use. He appealed a finding . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 11 June 2022; Ref: scu.242245