Bank Negara Indonesia v Hoalim Philip

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CourtPrivy Council
JudgeLord Salmon
Judgment Date14 May 1973
Neutral Citation[1973] SGPC 1
Citation[1973] SGPC 1
Docket NumberPrivy Council Appeal No 17 of 1972
Date14 May 1973
Plaintiff CounselHE Francis QC and PJ Pillet (Coward Chance)
Published date19 September 2003
Defendant CounselYR Jumabhoy (C Butcher & Simon Burns)
Subject MatterRent-controlled premises,Promissory estoppel,Premises undergoing substantial demolition and reconstruction,Recovery of possession,Equity,Estoppel,Whether landlord estopped from subsequently serving a notice to quit on tenant,Landlord assuring tenant that latter will not be asked to leave premises for as long as he carried on his profession there,Whether premises constituting new building for purposes of rent control legislation,Landlord and Tenant,Section 2 Control of Rent Ordinance (Cap 242, 1955 Rev Ed)

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of Appeal in Singapore dismissing an appeal by the plaintiffs in the action from a judgment of Chua J in the High Court of Singapore.

The claim in the action, by the present appellants as plaintiffs, was for possession of the front room on the third floor of a building owned by the appellants and known as no 3 Malacca Street, Singapore, together with mesne profits from 1 March 1969. This room was occupied by the respondent as a tenant of the appellants; the appellants claimed that the tenancy was a monthly tenancy and that it had been validly determined by a notice to quit expiring on 28 February 1969. The respondent did not dispute the service of a notice to quit but relied upon two defences. First, he claimed protection under the Control of Rent Ordinance 1953; secondly, he set up an agreement, or understanding, made or entered into in 1958 between himself and one Lee Cheng Kiat, predecessor of the appellants, and claimed that the appellants were estopped from claiming possession of the premises against him.

The relevant facts are largely undisputed. The respondent, who is an advocate and solicitor had, since 1945, occupied for the purpose of his profession the front portion of the first floor of no 3 Malacca Street. He was a monthly tenant, paying a rent of $147.40 per month. The building was an old building consisting of a ground floor, first floor and second floor: it was owned by Lee Cheng Kiat. In 1957 the appellants entered into negotiation for the purchase of the building and it was conveyed to them in July 1959. It is not disputed that the various steps taken and negotiations carried on with regard to the building during this period were so carried on and taken on behalf of the appellants.

During 1958 extensive alterations were carried out to the building, costing, as the appellants claimed, $306,656.89. The landlord requested the respondent to vacate the room occupied by him but he refused to do so. In October 1958 the roof of the building was taken off so that rain came through and flooded the respondent`s office: he threatened proceedings unless steps were taken to abate the nuisance. Thereupon two representatives of the landlord came to see him and asked him to move to the rear of the first floor so that work could be done in the front. They told him that, when the new third floor was ready, he could move to the front portion of it. They gave him an assurance, as the judge found, that he would have the same protection under the Control of Rent Ordinance as he had on the first floor and that the appellants would not ask him to leave the premises for as long as he was practising his profession there. On these assurances the respondent agreed to move from the front part of the first floor. He went first to the back portion of that floor and remained there for about three months. Then he moved to the front portion of the third floor.

On 12 January 1961 the respondent was served with a notice to quit, accompanied by a letter from the appellants` solicitors informing him that the appellants were willing to grant a new tenancy...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • Indo-Australian Trading Co (Pte) Ltd v Tan Tong Peng
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 5 April 1977
    ...(L A J Smith) for the appellant Adab Singh (Assistant Director of Legal Aid) for the respondent. Bank Negara Indonesia v Hoalim [1971-1973] SLR (R) 743; [1972-1974] SLR 10 (refd) Eastern Realty Co Ltd v Chan Hua Seng [1965-1967] SLR (R) 576; [1965-1968] SLR 597 (folld) Kai Nam v Ma Kam Chan......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT