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Madras High Court
Arunachala Chettiar vs Ramiah Naidu And Ors. on 4 September, 1906
Equivalent citations: (1906) 16 MLJ 533


1. In this case the lower Courts have dismissed a suit in ejectment by the lessor, the trustee of a temple – against the lessee on the ground that the notice to quit was bad. The agreement between the parties, Exhibit A. does not contain any provision as to notice to quit, but under Section 106, Transfer of Property Act, in the case of monthly tenancies such as this the tenant is entitled ft fifteen days’ notice expiring with the end of a month of the tenancy. Bradley v. Atkinson (1885) I.L.R. 7 A. 899. In the present case due notice was given if the monthly tenancy be regarded as ending on the 30th of each month, the date on which the monthly rent was payable under Exhibit A, but not if the tenancy is to be regarded as beginning on 13th of the month; the date of the Exhibit A. It was perfectly open to the parties to agree that the monthly period of tenancy should be reckoned not from the 13th July the date of the lease, but from another date and all the Court has to do is to ascertain whether such was the intention of the parties. ‘Doe dem Holcombe v. Johnson 6 Esq, 10 : 9 R.R. 800. De dem Savage Siapleton 3 C. & P. 275, Doe dem King v. Grafton 18 Q.B. 496, Sandill v. Franklin L.R. 10 C.P. 377, Sidebotham v. Holland 1895 I.Q.B. 378. In all these cases except the last although the lease was dated in the middle of a quarter and the tenant entered on, and was liable to pay from, such date, the fact that the quarterly rent was payable not on dates calculated from the date of the lease but on the usual quarter days, was held to show the intention of the parties that, for determining when the tenancy was to expire, the tenancy should be deemed to commence not from the lease but from the next quarter day, and that notice to quit must be given accordingly. The usual practice being to adhere to the customary quarter dates in yearly or quarterly tenancies, it was held that where there was an entry in the middle of one of the customary quarters and payment of rent from the date of entry, but the parties agreed that the rent should be payable on the customary quarter days, this showed an intention to adhere to the usual practice, and notices to quit expiring on one of the usual quarter days were accordingly held good. In Sidebotham v. Holland (1895) I.Q.B. 378 the same conclusion would have been come to but for the fact that the express provision that the tenant should hold as tenant from year to year commencing from the date of the lease made it in the opinion of the Court impossible to hold that the tenancy was to be treated for any purpose as commencing on a later day. In this country the practice of letting this sort of immoveable property on monthly tenancies is so widespread as to warrant the legislature in raising a presumption in favour of monthly tenancies by H. 106, Transfer of Property Act. It is also a widespread practice to make the monthly letting coincide with the calendar month. When then we find an entry takes place in the middle of a calendar month and rent is payable from the date of entry, but the parties agree that the rent should be payable at the end of the calendar month, we think the reasonable inference is that they intended that the monthly tenancy should coincide with the calendar month. In this case the monthly rent for each calendar month is made payable on the 30th of such month, and we think that the fifteen days’ notice to quit given by the lessor with reference to this date, and not to the 13th of the month, the date of the lease, is good unless there is something in the written, contract, Exhibit A, as there was in the agreement in Sidebotham v. Holland (1895) I.Q.B. 378, which precludes us from giving effect to what we believe to have been the intention of the parties. In our opinion, there is nothing; and on the other hand the facts recited in Exhibit A are opposed to the inference that it was intended that the monthly tenancy should be deemed to commence from the date of Exhibit A. According to the recitals the premises in question had been taken on lease by the father of the executant from the former trustee of the temple to which the properties belonged, and both father and son had paid rent for it to the former trustee. The son should of course have gone on paying rent to the new trustee, but he had apparently not done so and the agreement acknowledges payment by him to the new trustee of Rs. 15 for arrears due on the date of Exhibit A, representing more than 21 months’ arrears at the date of the agreement the 13th July 1889. It is then provided that from this date the tenant shall pay the new trustee the stipulated rent on the 30th of each month. Exhibit A thus partakes of the nature of an attornment by the tenant under the old lease to the new trustee although it may go further and constitute an acceptance of a new lease determining the previous tenancy. Even if Exhibit A creates in law a new tenancy between the parties that would not give rise to the inference that it was intended to alter the date on which the tenancy was to be deemed to commence and it has been held in analogous oases that where the interest of the lessor determines altogether and the title passes to the remainderman, and the lessee goes on holding under the remainderman, although in law a new tenancy is created, yet in giving notice to quit the commencement of the former tenancy must be looked to. Kelly v. Paterson L.R. 9 C.P. 181. It is even more unlikely that the parties to Exhibit A who already stood to one another in the relation of lessor to lessee should have intended by Exhibit A to create a new tenancy beginning for such purposes as notice to quit on the date of Exhibit A.

2. We are accordingly of opinion that the notice to quit given by the plaintiff in this case was good and we reverse the decision of the lower Court with costs in this and the lower Courts and remit the case to the District Munsif to be disposed of according to law of the other issues.

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