Regis Property Company Ltd v Dudley

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
JudgeViscount Simonds,Lord Morton of Henryton,Lord Tucker,Lord Keith of Avonholm,Lord Denning
Judgment Date06 November 1958
Judgment citation (vLex)[1958] UKHL J1106-2
Date06 November 1958
CourtHouse of Lords
Regis Property Company Limited
and
Dudley

[1958] UKHL J1106-2

Viscount Simonds

Lord Morton of Henryton

Lord Tucker

Lord Keith of Avonholm

Lord Denning

House of Lords

Upon Report from the Appellate Committee, to whom was referred the Cause Regis Property Company Limited against Dudley, that whereas the Committee had heard Counsel, as well on Monday the 28th, as on Tuesday the 29th and Wednesday the 30th, days of July last, upon the Petition and Appeal of Regis Property Company Limited, whose registered office is situate at 51 East-cheap, E.C.3, in the City of London, praying, That the matter of the Order set forth in the Schedule thereto, namely, an Order of Her Majesty's Court of Appeal of the 17th of February 1958, might be reviewed before Her Majesty the Queen, in Her Court of Parliament, and that the said Order might be reversed, varied or altered, or that the Petitioners might have such other relief in the premises as to Her Majesty the Queen, in Her Court of Parliament might seem meet; as also upon the printed Case of Thomas Henry Dudley, lodged in answer to the said Appeal; And whereas the Appeal was re-argued on Tuesday the 21st day of October last; and due consideration had this day of what was offered on either side in this Cause:

It is Ordered and Adjudged, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in the Court of Parliament of Her Majesty the Queen assembled. That the said Order of Her Majesty's Court of Appeal, of the 17th day of February 1958, complained of in the said Appeal, be, and the same is hereby, Affirmed, and that the said Petition and Appeal be, and the same is hereby dismissed this House.

Viscount Simonds

My Lords,

1

The Respondent is the tenant of certain premises known as Flat 248, Chelsea Cloisters in the County of London. His landlords are the Appellant Company, Regis Property Company Limited. These premises are, by reason of their low net rateable value, subject to rent control under the provisions of the Rent Act, 1957. That Act, however, provides that a landlord may, upon giving the appropriate notice, alter the method of calculating the rent of controlled dwelling-houses from the former basis of a standard rent plus permitted increases to a new basis which, so far as is relevant to the present appeal, is to be fixed by multiplying the gross rateable value of the premises by what is called "the appropriate factor".

2

Taking advantage of this provision, on the 22nd July, 1957, the Appellant Company applied to the West London County Court for an order determining the appropriate factor by which the gross value of the premises should be multiplied for the purpose of ascertaining the rent limit applicable thereto, and served due notice of the application on the Respondent. Other matters also were brought before the Court, but with these your Lordships are not concerned.

3

On the 29th August, 1957, the learned County Court Judge made an order determining that the appropriate factor for the relevant purpose was five- thirds. An appeal from his order was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. Your Lordships are now asked to set these orders aside and to remit the application to the County Court for the redetermination of the appropriate factor in accordance with what appear to your Lordships to be the correct principles upon which it should be determined. I emphasise that your Lordships can take this step only if the learned Judge and the Court of Appeal acted upon some wrong principle.

4

It is convenient that I should now state in greater detail first the relevant provisions of the 1957 Act and then the tenancy agreement between the parties.

5

Section 1 (1) of the Act provides that "subject to the following provisions of this Act the rent recoverable for any rental period from the tenant under a controlled tenancy shall not exceed … a rent of which the annual rate is equal to the 1956 gross value of the dwelling multiplied by two (or, if the responsibility for repairs is such as is specified in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, by the appropriate factor specified in the said Part I)" together with annual amounts in respect of rates and service with which this appeal is not concerned. As I have already indicated, "appropriate factor" means the number by which the gross value is to be multiplied in determining the rent limit.

6

The relevant provisions of Part I of the First Schedule may be set out verbatim. They are as follows: —

"1.—(1) The following provisions shall have effect in ascertaining the rent limit by reference to the 1956 gross value.

(2) If under the terms of the tenancy the tenant is responsible for all repairs, the appropriate factor shall be four-thirds.

(3) If under the terms of the tenancy the tenant is responsible for some, but not all, repairs, the appropriate factor shall be such number less than two but greater than four-thirds as may be agreed in writing between the landlord and the tenant or determined by the county court."

7

It is plain that it is only Part I of the Schedule which has any bearing upon the determination of the appropriate factor, but the Appellants referred to and relied upon Part II and I therefore myself refer to it. It is concerned with the obtaining of a so-called Certificate of Disrepair which, while it is in force, prevents the landlords from getting the increase of rent which they might otherwise get under Part I. It is headed "Abatement for disrepair" and contains elaborate provisions for the service by a tenant of a notice of disrepair of the premises by reason of defects stated in the notice, for the landlords' undertaking to repair the defects, for the issue by the local authority to the tenant of a "Certificate of disrepair", and for the cancellation in certain circumstances of such certificate, and so on. Specifically it provides, by paragraph 7 (2), that "where a certificate of disrepair is issued then as respects any rental period beginning while the certificate is in force the appropriate factor shall be four-thirds." Reliance was also placed on paragraph 15, which provides that references in that Part (i.e. Part II) of the Schedule, to defects for which the tenant is responsible are references to defects for the remedying of which, as between the landlord and the tenant, the tenant is responsible or defects which are due to any act, neglect or default of the tenant or any person claiming under him or any breach by the tenant or such a person of any express agreement. These provisions may give rise to difficulties of their own, but I am at a loss to know what light they can throw upon the meaning of the provisions of Part I.

8

The tenant's obligations in respect of repair are contained in Clause 2 (C), (D), (E) and (F) of the Agreement and are as follows: —

"(C) To keep the interior of the flat together with all the fixtures and fittings now or hereafter therein (including the doors windows sanitary and water apparatus thereof) in good and substantial repair and clean sanitary condition (fair wear and tear and damage by accidental fire excepted), and so to deliver up at the end or sooner determination of the tenancy:

(D) To forthwith comply with any notice that may be given by the Landlord requiring any breach of any of the obligations on the part of the Tenant under the last preceding clause to be made good PROVIDED that if the Tenant shall make default for a period of one month in complying with such notice it shall be lawful for the Landlord (but without prejudice to the right of re-entry hereinafter contained) to enter upon the Flat and execute the repairs at the expense of the Tenant in accordance with the provisions hereof and the expenses of such repairs shall be repaid by the Tenant to the Landlord on demand:

(E) To observe and perform the rules and regulations specified in the Schedule hereto or any reasonable modifications thereof or additions thereto made from time to time by the Landlord for the proper conduct of the building and of which notice shall be given to the Tenant in writing or left for the Tenant at the Flat. The Tenant shall accept as final and binding the Landlord's decision upon any matter arising out of the said rules and regulations or any such modifications thereof or additions thereto:

(F) Not without the previous consent in writing of the Landlord to alter or interfere with the construction or arrangement of the Flat or the fixtures or fittings therein belonging to the Landlord or for which the Landlord is responsible or alter or injure any of the walls floors ceilings wiring pipes or drains of the Flat or alter the colour of any painted woodwork and if the Tenant shall carry out any redecoration or other work he shall properly prepare all woodwork before painting and strip or properly prepare all walls and ceilings before papering or distempering:"

9

The only relevant Rule in the Schedule is Rule 1, which is in these terms:

"1. Tenants shall keep all baths sinks cisterns and waste and other internal pipes in or connected with their Flats clean and open and in proper repair and order and shall be responsible for all damage occasioned to their own or other flats through any breach of this rule or through the improper use or negligence of themselves or their servants or through the stopping up or bursting of the said baths sinks cisterns or pipes due to the negligence of the Tenants or their servants and shall carry out during the tenancy any works required to the internal water pipes fittings apparatus etc., to comply with any notices served by the Metropolitan Water Board or the local sanitary authority."

10

This provision is clearly out of place. It is an important obligation of repair and I should have expected it to follow Clause 2 (C) in the body of the agreement. It will be seen that some difficulty has been caused by this fact.

11

The only other fact which need be noticed is that the Appellants' agents circularised...

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21 cases
  • Ms Zoe Youssefi v Mrs Joan Mussellwhite
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 2 July 2014
    ...to repair at all, but an implied obligation as to the tenant's conduct and use of the premises; see Regis Property Co Ltd v Dudley [1959] AC 370 at 407. ii) The appellant, as tenant under the subject lease, was only liable to repair the interior. In contrast, the landlord was obliged under ......
  • Auckland Waterfront Development Agency Ltd v Mobil Oil New Zealand Ltd
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    ...(2(d)77); Progressive Enterprises Ltd v Cascade Lead Products Ltd, [1996] B.C.J. No 2473 (Q.L.) (BCSC). 13 Regis Property Co Ltd v Dudley [1959] AC 370 at 407; [1958] 3 All ER 491 at 510 (HL) See also Marlborough Properties Ltd v Marlborough Fibreglass Ltd [1981] 1 NZLR 464 (CA) at 466 and ......
  • Antigua Hangars Inc. v SFS Antigua Operations Ltd
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    • 29 June 2023
    ...2 K.B. 45, 59. Which was rejected by the court of appeal in Taylor v Webb [1937] 2 K.B. 283. However, the House of Lords in Regis Property Co. Ltd. v. Dudley [1958] 3 ALL E.R. 491 rejected the principle as laid down in Taylor v Webb and restored the law as stated by Talbot J. in Haskell v......
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    ...up, the contract to deliver up in a tenantlike condition is broken.” 23 This was Atkin LJ at 8. 24 Regis Property Co Ltd v Dudley [1959] AC 370 25 At 407. 26 There are minor variations across the tenancy agreements. In the case of tenancies 2 and 3 the clean and tidy condition is subject to......
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