shall not sublet any part of the premises to any otherperson-
without the prior consent in writing of thelandlord;
Subsection (i) to s. 10 sets out plainly and explicitly the circumstancesunder which, for the purposes of the Act, a part of any premises shallbe deemed to have been let or sublet to an occupant. It postulatestwo criteria for determining whether in law there is a letting or asubletting of a part of premises. They are firstly, that the occupantmust be in exclusive occupation of the part in consideration of the
Sri Lanka Law Reports
[1986] 1 SriL.R.
payment of rent and. secondly, that the part must be a defined andseparate part over which the landlord or the tenant (as the case maybe) has for the time being relinquished his right of control. If these twocriteria are satisfied the law deems the existence of a letting or asubletting, as the case may be. The word 'deemed' is often used toembrace a compehensive description "that includes what is obvious,what is uncertain and what is, in the ordinary sense, impossible*-perLord Radcliffe in St. Aubyn v. Attorney-General (5). But in subsection(1) the word ’deemed’ read in conjunction j/,ith the expression 'if andonly if' is, in my view, definitive of what, for the purposes of the act,constitutes a letting or subletting of a part of premises. In other words,the sole test for determining, for the purposes of the Rent ^ct. thequestion whether there is. in law. a letting or subletting of a part of thepremises is to be found in subsection (1) itself. Thus, in my opinion, inso far as a letting or a subletting of a part of the premises isconcerned, the intention' of the parties is immaterial, although nodoubt it would be of paramount importance in determining whether or' not there has been a letting or subletting of the entirety of thepremise's.
Applying the above test to the facts and circumstances of this case Iam of the view that the trial1 court and the Court of Appeal were bothcorrect in concluding that the appellant sublet portions of the premisesin suit to the aforesaid four persons for the purpose of holding theirrespective wedding receptions. The oral evidence led on behalf of therespondent establishes that on each of those occasions a defined anddistinct, part of the premises was given by the appellant to each personfor his exclusive user and occupation in consideration of the paymentof money for the same. There was no service provided by theappellant for the benefit of any of those persons. The appellantexercised no control over any part of the portions that were given outby him. In fact the substantial defence taken up by him at the trial wasthat he did not ask for or receive any rent from any of the four persons.This defence has been rejected by the learned District Judge as totallyfalse. At no stage did the appellant maintain that he or any one on hisbehalf retained any form of control of the parts in which the receptionswere held. The appeal is therefore dismissed with costs.
SHARVANANDA, C.J. – I agreeCOUN-THOME, J.-l agree.
Appeal dismissed.
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