Remon v City of London Real Property Co Ltd: CA 1921

The court was asked whether the plaintiff, a tenant of rooms to which (once enacted) the Act of 1920 applied and who had been excluded from possession by the landlord’s re-entry on the day that the Act came into force following service of a notice to quit, was entitled to an injunction restraining the landlord from interfering with his quiet enjoyment of the premises. Re-entry had been obtained forcibly, by the landlord breaking the locks.
Held: Although the contractual tenancy had come to an end with expiry of the notice to quit, nevertheless, at the time of the re-entry, the plaintiff was to be treated as a tenant who by virtue of the provisions of the Act had retained possession for the purposes of section 15(1); and so was a person entitled to the benefit of the implied covenant for quiet enjoyment under that subsection. As a residential tenant even though only having a tenancy at will, may have the protection of the Rent Acts, including protection against rent increases.
Scrutton LJ said: ‘The question is whether, his tenancy by agreement having expired at a time when no Rent Restriction Act gave him any right to stay on, and the landlords having got into the premises without any assistance from the Court, he can claim any right to stay on or to ask the Court to restrain landlords from interfering with his possession.’ and ‘The object of the various Rent Restrictions Acts is clear. It was intended to prevent the tenant from having his rent raised against him, or from being turned out, though his tenancy by agreement had expired, so long as he was willing to pay the rent authorised by statute. He was originally presented by Parliament with a statutory tenancy at the will of the tenant for so long as he liked and no longer. But Parliament did not in terms say that though his tenancy by agreement has expired, he had a statutory right to stay in on specified terms; it provided that no order for recovery of possession should be made, and omitted expressly to provide what sort of legal interest the person who stayed in by permission of Parliament and against the will of the landlord should have, nor did Parliament expressly provide for the case where the landlord by his own action and without obtaining the order of the Court, got into possession of his own premises.’ and ‘Yet I think it is clear Parliament had intended to confirm these people in a statutory tenancy and speak of their position as ‘a letting’. Mr Romer [counsel for the landlords] argued very forcibly to us that though the policy were clear yet the courts ought not to give effect to it unless they could find words apt in their ordinary meaning to justify them in so doing, and that the case of landlord getting into possession of premises which under the agreement of tenancy he had a right to enter had not been dealt with by Parliament. I do think it has expressly; and I feel I am straining language in speaking of a person whose tenancy has expired and who stays in against the active protest of the landlord as ‘tenant’, and of the landlords’ relation to him as ‘letting’; but such a person appears to be within the clear intention of the legislature, and where the statute has forbidden any process of court to be used to eject him, I think it must have intended and be taken to forbid ejection by the private action of the landlords without the aid of the Court. ‘
Bankes LJ accepted that in no ordinary sense of the word was the respondent a tenant of the premises on the coming into force of the Act. But: ‘It is however clear that in all the Rent Restrictions Acts the expression ‘tenant’ has been used in a special, a peculiar sense, and as including a person who might be described as an ex-tenant, someone whose occupation had commenced as a tenant and who had continued in occupation without any legal right to do so except possibly such as the Acts themselves conferred upon him. The respondent therefore on the coming into operation of the new Act was a tenant within the meaning of that expression in the Act . . .’ Lord Justice Bankes held that the plaintiff had the protection of section 15: ‘Section 15 is intended to supply something that was wanting in the previous Acts, namely, an indication as to the legal position of a person who continued in occupation of premises merely by reason of the protection afforded by those Acts. The opening words of section 15 are words of description of the person to whom the conditions of the statutory tenancy apply. He is described as a tenant who by virtue of the provisions of the Act retains possession of a dwelling house to which the Act applies. As pointed out by Mr Romer in his argument the Legislature in section 5 was apparently only contemplating eviction by legal process. A person therefore who is protected by the Act from eviction by legal process from his dwelling house may not inaccurately be described as a person who by virtue of the Act retains possession of his dwelling house. The respondent being obviously a person protected by section 5 from eviction by legal process, comes in my opinion within the description contained in section 15, and is therefore entitled to the benefit of the Act, assuming that his premises come within the Act.’
Scrutton LJ, Bankes LJ, Atkin LJ
[1921] 1 KB 49
Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act 1920 5
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedParker v Parker ChD 24-Jul-2003
Lord Macclesfield claimed a right to occupy a castle. The owners claimed that he had only a mere tenancy at will. The exact rooms in the castle which had been occupied had varied over time.
Held: The applicant was entitled to reasonable . .
CitedCadogan Estates Limited v McMahon HL 26-Oct-2000
When a tenancy was terminated and was followed by a statutory tenancy, a term in the contractual tenancy that the tenancy should be forfeit on the tenant’s bankruptcy was continued in and inherited by the statutory tenancy. Though perhaps in . .
ExplainedHarrison v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council CA 1981
The court considered the relationship between statutory provisions and the terms of a tenancy agreement.
Held: Brandon LJ said: ‘In the various Housing and rent Acts the legislature did not seek to interfere with the common law principles on . .
CitedBanjo v London Borough of Brent CA 17-Mar-2005
The tenant had occupied the premises under a long lease which expired by effluxion of time. The landlord failed to take any steps to retake possession, and the tenant continued as a tenant at will, paying no rent. The landlord eventually issued . .
CriticisedRopaigealach v Barclays Bank plc CA 6-Jan-1999
The applicant’s property was charged to the defendant. At the time it was not occupied. The mortgage fell into arrears, and after serving notice at the property, the bank took posssession and sold the property at auction. The claimants said the bank . .
CitedCruise v Terrell CA 1922
The plaintiffs stayed at weekends at a cottage let for a fixed term of one year. The contractual term ended on 25 March 1921 and was not renewed. On 7 April, in the absence of the plaintiffs, the defendant sent the local blacksmith to the cottage, . .
CitedLavender v Betts 1942
The landlord, served a notice to quit, and obtained entry to the property without force and removed the doors and windows so that it could no longer be used as a dwelling. The plaintiff brought an action for trespass.
Held: After referring to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 August 2021; Ref: scu.192086