Abdul Rahim v British and Malaya Trustees Ltd

CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
Judgment Date30 September 1966
Date30 September 1966
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No Y9 of 1966

[1966] SGFC 8

Federal Court

Wee Chong Jin CJ


Tan Ah Tah FJ


F A Chua J

Civil Appeal No Y9 of 1966

Abdul Rahim
British & Malayan Trustees Ltd

S Santhiran (J Tan Chor Yong & Co) for the appellant

D G Ironside (Ironside & de Souza) for the respondent.

British & Malayan Trustees Ltd v Abdul Jabbar [1965-1967] SLR (R) 234 (refd)

Cobb v Lane [1952] 1 All ER 1199; [1952] 1 TLR 1037 (folld)

Land–Licences–Termination–Damages–Landlord and Tenant–Creation of tenancy–Contract–Contract described as tenancy agreement–Whether tenancy or licence created

The former trustees of the settlement entered into an agreement with the appellant and another person, both described collectively as “the tenant”, purporting to grant them a monthly tenancy at a rent of $40 per month of premises. Under the agreement either party might determine the tenancy with one month's notice in writing.

The trial judge concluded that the agreement created merely a licence, and the tenant's right to use the premises had determined. No damages were however awarded.

On appeal by the appellant, it was argued that a tenancy had been created. The new trustees cross-appealed arguing that damages should have been awarded.

Held, dismissing the appeal and allowing the cross-appeal:

(1) In determining whether an agreement creates between the parties the relationship of landlord and tenant or merely that of licensor and licensee, the intention of the parties is the paramount consideration. The intention of the parties must be sought not from the mere words of the agreement but from its substance and from the conduct of the parties and the surrounding circumstances: at [7].

(2) As the effect of the agreement was clearly to grant the tenant space on the wall to put up a display for their wares, there was no relationship of landlord and tenant. Instead, the tenant had only a personal privilege with no interest in land, which was terminable by one month's notice in writing: at [8], [9] and [10].

(3) The respondent should be awarded damages for the appellant's overstay at $40 per month until recovery of possession: at [11].

F A Chua J

1 This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court in which the court adjudged and declared that the right of the defendants Abdul Jabbar and Abdul Rahim to use a space in the common passageway in the Arcade, Raffles Place, Singapore, or any other part of the said passageway has been determined...

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3 cases
  • Goh Gin Chye and Another v Peck Teck Kian Realty Pte Ltd and Another
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 9 April 1987
    ...respondent P Balagopal (Chan Kam Foo & Associates) for the second respondent. Abdul Rahim v British & Malayan Trustees Ltd [1965-1967] SLR (R) 390; [1965-1968] SLR 172 (folld) Addiscombe Garden Estates Ltd v Crabbe [1958] 1 QB 513 (folld) Booker v Palmer [1942] 2 All ER 674 (folld) ......
  • Tan Swee Eng v Assoland Pte Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 23 April 1987
    ...for the appellant Joseph Tan (Joseph Tan & Associates) for the respondent. Abdul Rahim v British & Malayan Trustees Ltd [1965-1967] SLR (R) 390; [1965-1968] SLR 172 (folld) Addiscombe Garden Estates Ltd v Crabbe [1958] 1 QB 513 (refd) Facchini v Bryson [1952] 1 TLR 1386 (folld) Goh ......
  • Indo-Australian Trading Co Ltd v Krishnasamy
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 29 February 1972
    ...(Williams & Tennakoon) for the plaintiff L A J Smith (L A J Smith) for the defendant. Abdul Rahim v British and Malayan Trustees [1965-1967] SLR (R) 390; [1965-1968] SLR 172 (refd) Addiscombe Garden Estates Ltd v Crabbe [1958] 1 QB 513; [1957] 3 All ER 563 (refd) Facchini v Bryson [1952......

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