Paul o. Geverappa Reddiar
i 958Present: Gunasekara, J.
A. PAUL et ah, Appellants, and A. GEVERAPPAREDDIAR, Respondent
. S.C. 55— C.R. Colombo, 60,124
Landlord and tenant—Land and buildings let as a single unit—Right of lessee to claimprotection of the Rent Restriction Act—Meaning of term “premisesWhero property capable of being divided into different lots some of whichwould consist mainly or solely of buildings and others solely of land with nobuildings on it is let ns a singlo unit at a singlo rent, it is a question of factwhether such property consists of buildings with appurtenant land or landwith appurtenant buildings.
Plaintiffs lot certain property to the defendant on a contract of monthlytenancy. Tho property consisted of buildings and a grass field. Tho build–■ mgs formed the chief feature of the leased property and were to be used for
'the purpose of a dairy. Tho grass land was merely an “ adjunct
, Held, that tlio leased property constituted “ premises ” within tiro meaningof tho Pent Restriction Act ; tho tenant was, therefore, entitled to the protectionof tho Act.
-/VpPEAL from a judgment of the Court of Requests, Colombo.■ Felix Dia-s, with II. D. Perera, for plaintiffs-appellant.
'f. Arulanandait, for defendant-respondent.
Cur. adv. milt.
G LTN'ASJCfCAT?.A, J.—Paul v. Cevctappa JictJJiar
■January 17, 195S. Guyrasekai?a, J.—
This appeal arises out of an action brought by the appellants for theejection of the resjiondent from certain property that they had let tohim on a contract of monthly tenancy and for the recovcrj' of rent alleged' to bo in arrear and damages for ovcrholding. The tenancy began onthe 10th July 1951 and was terminated on the 31st October 1955 by anotice to quit given to the respondent on the 5th September 1955. Therent stipulated in the contract, which was in writing, was jRs. 150 a month,but the Kent Control Board purported to fix the authorized rent atRs. 102-33 a month. The main issue at the trial was whether the pro-perty was one to which the Bent Bestriction Act applied. It was con-tended for the appellants that it did not constitute “premises ” withinthe meaning of the Act and therefore the respondent was not protectedby the Act. The learned commissioner of requests answered this issuoand all the subsidiary issues against the appellants and dismissed theaction with costs.
In a document acknowledging the receipt of rent for the period 10thJuly to 31st August 1951 the appellants describe the demised property as“ the following premises :
(а)No. 5 (Dairies Two)
(б)No. 5A (Front. Boom) and
(c) Grassland excluding the following
Five houses bearing Nos. 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E & 5F.
6 Blocks of Vegetable Garden and-
6 Huts in the Grassfield
According to the evidence given by the 1st appellant the entire extentof the land that was let was acres, and a little more than a quarterof an acre of this was high land while the rest was grass field.The buildings described as Nos. 5 and 5A stood on the high land.
At the hearing of the appeal it was conceded by the learned counselfor the appellants that the high land and the buildings standing on itwere “ premises ” within the meaning of the Act and therefore the Actapplied to them. He maintained, however, that the rest of the property,consisting of what was described-in the receipt as grass land, was not“ premises ” and was therefore not property to which the Act was appli-cable ; and that though there was a single contract between the partiesit- did not relate solely to property to which the Act applied but to otherproperty as well. On this ground it was claimed that the appellantswere entitled to have the respondent ejected from that portion.of thedemised property which consisted of grass land..
I am unable to a.ccept this contention. The property may be capableof division into different lots some of which would consist mainly-orsolely of buildings and others solely of land with no buildings': on it.Though it may be capable of being so divided into new units, what wasactually let was a single unit at a single rent and not several- unitsconsisting of the lots into which the property could be divided. It seemsto me that the real question is not whether what was let consisted of
404' L. W. IDE SILVA, A.J.—Kanapathipillai- v. Scrnanimah ■■_
property to which the Act did not apply as well as property to which it-did, but whether it consisted of buildings with appurtenant land or landwith appurtenant buildings. This is a question of fact, and the learnedcommissioner, who inspected the property at the request of both parties,has answered it in favour of th'e respondent. He has held that it wasthe intention of the parties that “ the premises wero to be used primarilyfor the purpose of a dairy ” and that “ the grass land merely came intoit as an adjunct ”, and also that “ the grass field portion yields no incomeand the predominant and striking character of the parcels leased arethe dairy buildings There appears to be no ground for disturbingthis finding of fact. It follows that the learned commissioner’s findingthat the respondent is entitled to the protection of the Act must beaffirmed and the appeal fails.
The appeal is dismissed with costs. .
E. A. PAUL et al., Appellants, and A. GEVERAPPA REDDIAR, Respondent