Present: H. N. G. Fernando, J.
K. A. SHAH UL HAAIEED, Appellant, and M. S. M. MADUNI,
S. G. 162—C. Ji. Colombo, 69,161
Rent Restriction .4'•t—Action for e/cetmcnl—Reasonable requirement ”—Burdenof proof.
Where a landlord who seeks to eject his tenant on the ground that thepremises let are reasonably required by him for occupation as a residencedoes not adduce sufficient evidence on his behalf to establish that he reasonablyrequires the premises, it is not necessary to weigh in the balance the comparativeneeds of the parties or to consider whether the tenant’s failure to vacate isjustified._
-CJLPPEAE from a judgment of the Court of Requests, Colombo.
Sir Ijilita Rajapakse, Q.C., with Jfr. P. _Y. de Silva, for the defendant-appellant.
Vernon Wijetunge, for the plaintiff-respondent.
Cur. adv. bull.
H. N. G. FERNANDO, J.—Shahul Hameed v. Maduni
April 11, 1957. H. 1ST. G. Feksando, J.—
The plaintiff has succeeded in tills action for ejectment on the groundthat the premises are reasonably required by him for occupation as aresidence. The Commissioner has found in favour of the plaintiff afterweighing in the balance the comparative needs of the parties ; butin my opinion the evidence adduced on behalf of the plaintiff did nottake the case to the stage at which comparative needs had to be considered.
The plaintiff is himself the tenant of one Hamid, and alleged thatHamid had given him notice to quit. The only evidence concerningtliis notice to quit is that it was given three years before the trial andwas not followed by proceedings for ejectment. It is obvious thatat the time of the filing of the plaint, the plaintiff was not legally undernotice to quit and was not liable even to be sued in ejectment by Hamid.
It was further alleged that the house presently occupied b}7 theplaintiff is not fit for human habitation ; in fact Hamid stated that hegave the plaintiff notice three years before because the premises neededrepairs estimated to cost Rs. G,000 to Rs. 7,000. If this evidencebe true, it is strange that the plaintiff has been able to continue inoccupation without injury to himself or his house-hold goods. Theonly substantial complaint about the condition of the house is that theroof is in bad condition as it is liable to come down at any t ime ; consider-ing the size of the house, it is impossible to believe that the repairscannot be effected while the plaintiff’s tenancy continues. It has notbeen suggested that the plaintiff cannot temporarily find shelter whilethe work is being done. The evidence as to unfitness is vague andunconvincing..
The plaintiff stated that there is only one bed-room in the house henow occupies, but he did not allege in his evidence that the accommoda-tion is insufficient for his family. The evidence concerning the numberof people who are permitted by Hamid to live in the premises of whichhe is the tenant shows that people in the position of the plaintiffmay not regard the accommodation in the plaintiff’s house as . beinginadequate, and 1 decline to infer inadequacj' in the absence of evidencefrom the plaintiff on the point..
The evidence for the plaintiff discloses only a desire on his part tovacate his present house, but falls short of establishing any need tovacate it. Hence the plaintiff has not proved that he reasonablyrequires the premises in dispute and there was no call to consider whether .the defendant’s failure to vacate is justified._
The appeal is allowed and the plaintiff’s action is dismissed withoosts in both Courts.
Apjiecil allowed.