ALLES. J.—Fernando v. Vadivelu
1964Present: Alles, J.
R.R. FERNANDO, Appellant, and M. VADIVELU, Respondent
S.C. 49/1964—C.R. Colombo, 84446
Bent Restriction Act—Inapplicability to land with a building appurtenant to it—Meaning oj term “ premises
The provisions of the Bent Restriction Act are not applicable to a leaseof bare land with a building appurtenant to it.
Appeal from a judgment of the Court of Requests, Colombo.
S.Sharvananda, for plaintiff-appellant.
No appearance for defendant-respondent.
Cur. adv. wit.
September 21, 1964. Alles, J.—
In this case the plaintiff sued the defendant for ejectment from thepremises described in paragraph 2 of the plaint and recovery of rentalleged to be in arrear and damages for overholding. At the conclusionof the argument, I allowed the appeal and said I would give my reasonslater. In his plaint, the plaintiff described the premises let as “ a dividedportion in extent about half an acre sixteen perches out of the landcalled Merakaduruwatte alias Mahawatte situated within the UrbanCouncil limits of Wattala together with the hut standing thereon bearing
assessment No. 145/10The plaintiff also averred in paragraph
6, that the premises in suit are not governed by the provisions of the RentRestriction Act being a bare land in extent over half an acre with a smallhut standing thereon and appurtenant thereto.
The evidence of the plaintiff, which has been accepted by the learnedCommissioner, is to the effect that one Shanmugavel who was the originaltenant of the premises in suit erected a cadjan hut on the land andreceived Rs. 45/- as compensation from the plaintiff on document P 1on the term ination of his tenancy. Thereafter, the plaintiff let to the presentdefendant the grass-land with the hut thereon and the defendant lived
ALLES, J.—Fernando v. Vadivelu
in that hut and cut grass. About four years later, the plaintiff rebuiltthe hut and improved it. These improvements cost him about Rs. 450/-.The learned Commissioner accepts the position that what was firstrented out to the defendant was a grass-land with the hut thereon andthat the Rent Restriction Act did not apply to these premises. Relyinghowever, on a certified extract of the Assessment Register for the premisesin suit for the years 1959-1962, in which an assessment number wasgiven to the rebuilt hut, he comes to the conclusion that as the hut borean assessment number from 1959, the provisions of the Rent RestrictionAct applied to the premises from 1959. I am unable to understand onwhat basis the assessment ot any premises can convert them from premisesto which the Rent Restriction Act does apply, to premises to which theydo not. The orginal premises let to the defendant also bore an assessmentnumber. The word ‘ premises ’ has been defined in the Rent Restriction(Amendment) Act as ‘ any building or part of a building together withthe land appertaining thereto ’. The only question therefore, thatarises for consideration in this case is whether what was let to thedefendant were premises which consisted of a building with appurtenantland or land with an appurtenant building. This is a question of factand the learned Commissioner has accepted the position that originallythe hut was appurtenant to the land. In my view, the rebuilding ofthat hut makes no difference to that position. Relying therefore, onthe tests applied by Gunesekara, J. in Paul v. Geverappa Reddiar1 andSinnetamby, J. in the case of Nallathamby v. Leitan 2 I would hold thatwhat was let to the defendant was the grass-land with the appurtenant .building and therefore the Rent Restriction Act does not apply to thesepremises. Since I have held in favour of the plaintiff-appellant on thepreliminary question, it is unnecessary for me to decide the furtherquestion whether the learned Commissioner came to a correct decisionregarding the arrears of rent. The order of the learned Commissioner istherefore set aside. The appeal is allowed. There will be no costs ofthe Court below, but the plan tiff-appellant will be entitled to the costsof this appeal.
Appeal allowed. *
* (1958) 59 N. L. R. 402 at 404.
(1956) 58 N. L. R. 56.
R. R. FERNANDO, Appellant, and M. VADIVELU, Respondent