Reid v Dawson

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date03 November 1954
Judgment citation (vLex)[1954] EWCA Civ J1103-2
Date03 November 1954
CourtCourt of Appeal

[1954] EWCA Civ J1103-2

In the Supreme Court of Judicature.

Court of Appeal


Lord Justice Denning,

Lord Justice Morris and

Lord Justice Parker.


MR. CYRIL HARVEY, Q.C. and MR. LIONEL A. BLUNDELL (instructed by Messrs Langhams & Letts, agents for Messrs Dawson & Hart, Uckfield) appeared on behalf of the Appellant (Defendant,.

MR P.INGRESS BELL, Q.C. and MR IAN WARREN (instructed by Messrs Sulcraig & Davis, appeared on behalf of the Responcent (Plaintiff).


In 1946 Lady Craigie bought nearly 50 acres of land in Sussex which were near her own premises. They were at that time under requisition 2nd she wanted in due course to go into occupation of them herself. An adjoining farmer, Mrs Dawson, who had a number of sheep and cattle, was anxious to have the use of those fields for grazing. She approached Sir Robert Craigie about it, and Sir Robert said that they hoped to get it back from the requisitioning authorities and that she could have it for a year for grazing. In due course, at the urgent request of Mrs Dawson, Sir Robert managed to get the AgriculturalExecutive Committee to release the land. Then a question arose as to the terms on which Mrs Dawson should be allowed to use it. Advice was taken on the matter through local agents and in consequence an agreement was drawn up which both sides knew was intended to avoid the land being caught by the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1948. If it was just a simple letting of land for a year, even if a simple letting of grazing for one whole year, it would be caught by the Act and there would have to be a year's notice to quit before the owner could get control of it, and in these days he could not even give that notice without the consent of the Minister. In order to avoid being caught by such a position the parties, with full knowledge, entered into an agreement. It is dated 19th December, 1950, and in it Lady Craigie agreed to let and Mrs Dawson agreed "to take and hire the exclusive right and liberty to mow for hay and to departure only sheep and cattle over and upon the land", which is then described, "for a term commencing on the 1st November, 1950, and terminating on the 30th October, 1951" at a rent of £150 a year payable by half yearly instalments. It is important to notice that the letting was not for a whole year but only for 364 days. In pursuance of the agreement, Mrs Dawson put her sheep and cattle on the land for all the time.


When it came towards the end of the 364 days, a question arose as to what was to happen after they came to an end and, although nothing specific was arranged, rent was paid at all events for the first six months commencing on the 1st November, 1951, and then again for the second half year. Those second payments the learned Judge has found were made on the footing that the second period was granted on precisely the same terms as the first period. By the time the second period came to an end Lady Craigie had sold her interest to the present owners who claim possession.


So we have here a case of two agreements for mowing and grazing on 50 acres of land for two periods of 364 days. Thequestion is whether the agreements so made are caught by the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1948. Before I read the section perhaps I might just refer to the history. Under the 1923 Act if there was a yearly tenancy or a tenancy for a term of years the landlord could not get possession except on giving twelve months' notice. That section came up for consideration in 1944 in a case called The Land Settlement Association v. Carr, 1944 King's Bendh, page 657, where there was an agreement to let for 364 days and there after for successive periods of 364 days. This Court held that that was not a tenancy from year to year or for a term of years: it was not caught by the 1923 Act and, therefore, there was no need for the twelve months' notice. When the 1947 Act was passed that decision was overcome. A section was inserted which now appears again repeated in the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1948, section 2, which says (missing out immaterial words) "Where under an agreement… any land is let to a person for use as agricultural land for an interest less than a tenancy from year to year, or a person is granted a licence to occupy land for use as agricultural land, and the circumstances are such that if his interest were a tenancy from year to year he would in respect of that land be the tenant of an agricultural holding", then, unless the agreement is approved by the Minister, it shall take effect as if it were a tenancy from year to year. That means that a tenancy for 364 days like that in The Land Settlement Association v. Carr operates as if it were a tenancy from year to year. So also under that section a letting for any shorter period than a year or, indeed, under a licence to...

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13 cases
  • Rutherford v Maurer
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal
    • 24 April 1961
    ...was let under an agreement in writing for three months, subsequently extended by letters for further periods of three months), and on Reid v. Dawson. 1955, 1, Queen's Bench Division, at page 214, (where the letting was for a period of 364 days). In both cases it was held that the agree- men......
  • Bedson v Bedson
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal
    • 22 July 1965
    ...They are jointly entitled to possession of the house and to the use of it. Neither can turn out the other, see Bull v. Bull, 1955, 1 Queen's Bench, p. 214: and if one leaves the house, he or she has the right to return to enjoy it. If one dies, the survivor takes the sole beneficial use, s......
  • Watts v Yeend
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 25 November 1986
    ...error of law. 25 We have been referred to a number of cases, and I begin by mentioning them all for the sake of completeness. They were: Reid v. Dawson, [1955] 1 Queen's Bench, 214; Scene Estate Ltd. v. Amos, [1957] 2 Queen's Bench, 205: Butterfield v. Burniston, a decision from the Harro......
  • Gladstone v Bower
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal
    • 27 July 1960
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