Schneiders and Sons Ltd v Abrahams: 1925

The landlord claimed possession of a dwelling house let on a weekly tenancy, saying the tenant had been convicted of using the premises for an unlawful purpose. The tenant had been convicted of handling stolen goods by receiving them at the premises. He submitted that the section should be interpreted as applying only to convictions for offences which by definition involved the use of premises.
Held: The tenant’s suggestion was rejected.
Bankes LJ said: ‘And inasmuch as a strictly technical construction of section 4 of the Act of 1923 would exclude so many offences which would seem naturally to fall within the purview of the section, and because such a construction would deprive the words ‘or immoral’ of all force or effect, therefore I reject the argument that the section includes only offences in which user of the premises is an essential element. But I think it is necessary to show that the tenant has taken advantage of his tenancy of the premises and of the opportunity they afford for committing the offence.’
Scrutton LJ said: ‘The crime of receiving goods knowing them to have been stolen is a good instance of the difficulty raised by section 4. There is no crime, and consequently there can be no conviction, of using premises for receiving stolen goods, and yet premises may be used for the purpose of receiving stolen goods. The rest of the wording of section 4 suggests that such a user is within the contemplation of the section. Giving the case the best consideration I can, I come to the conclusion that the conviction need not be for using the premises for one or another immoral or illegal purpose, and that it is enough if there is a conviction of a crime which has been committed on the premises and for the purpose of committing which the premises have been used; but that it is not enough that the tenant has been convicted of a crime with which the premises have nothing to do beyond merely being the scene of its commission.’


Bankes LJ, Scrutton LJ


[1925] 1 KB 301


Rent Restrictions Act 1920 5(1)

Cited by:

CitedRaglan Housing Association Ltd v Fairclough CA 1-Nov-2007
The tenant appealed an order for possession. He had been convicted of making indecent images of children. The defendant had moved his tenancy from the property in which the offences had been convicted to a neighbouring property. The landlord said . .
CitedAbrahams v Wilson CA 1971
The tenant had allowed his premises to be used for the supply of Class B drugs over many months. Possession was sought under the provision of the Rent Act 1968.
Held: His appeal against a possession order succeeded.
Widgery LJ said: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.260191