Tay Sai Hiang v Tan Ee Keok

JudgeTan Ah Tah FJ
Judgment Date16 February 1968
Neutral Citation[1968] SGFC 1
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No Y50 of 1967
Date16 February 1968
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselCS Wu (Donaldson & Burkinshaw)
Citation[1968] SGFC 1
Defendant CounselJF McWilliams (Laycock & Ong)
CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
Subject MatterLandlord in fact convicted and fined but no evidence as to date of complaint,Landlord entitled to recover possession of premises if tenant knowlingly commited breach of Municipal Ordinance exposing landlord to fine – Landlord not liable to fine if complaint not made to magistrate withing 12 months of breach,Section 15(1)(h) Control of Rent Ordinance (Cap 224, 1955 Rev Ed), Sections 144(7), 144(10), 144(12 and 392 Municipal Ordinance 1935 (No 59 of 1935),Rent-controlled premises,Whether necessary for landlord to prove complaint made to magistrate within 12 months of breach,Recovery of possession,Landlord and Tenant

The appellant, the owner and the landlord of rent-controlled premises known as No 720-E Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore, claimed possession of the premises from the respondent, the tenant of the premises. She claimed she was not precluded from recovering possession by virtue of inter alia s 15(1)(h) of the Control Of Rent Ordinance (Cap 242) on the ground that the respondent had knowingly committed a breach of s 144(7) of the Municipal Ordinance by constructing three brick water tanks on the premises without a plan and specification having been approved by the proper authority and that this breach had resulted in her being prosecuted, convicted and fined for an offence under s 144 (10) of the Municipal Ordinance.

It is convenient at this stage to set out the material provisions of the Control of Rent Ordinance (Cap 242) and the Municipal Ordinance.

Section 15(1)(h) of the Control of Rent Ordinance provides as follows:

In the case of all premises such an order or judgment as is referred to in s 14 of this Ordinance may be made in any of the following cases namely:

(h) where the tenant or any other person occupying the premises under him has knowingly committed a breach of any written law regulating any business carried on upon the premises or of any provision of the Municipal Ordinance or of any rule or by-law made thereunder affecting the premises which exposes the landlord to any penalty, fine or forfeiture;

The material provisions of s 144 of the Municipal Ordinance are as follows:

(7) No person shall commence any building operations involving the erection of a building ... unless -


(b) a plan and specification of the building have been approved by the commissioners or the president within one year before the date of the notice.

(10) Any person who -

(a) commences or resumes building operations in contravention of sub-s (7);

shall be liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred dollars and to a daily fine of ten dollars for every day on which the offence is continued after conviction, and a police court may, on the application of the commissioners, make a mandatory order requiring such person to alter in any way or demolish the building.

(12) Where any building operations are commenced or carried out in respect of any building they shall be deemed to have been commenced or carried out by the owner of the land whereon such building is erected and he shall be liable therefor.

It is also necessary to consider s 392 of the Municipal Ordinance which provides as follows:

Except in any case where by reason of the act or omission complained of an

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1 cases
  • Teo Boon Hong v Tan Ewe Wah
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 15 September 1980
    ... ... that support the conviction must be presumed, and, the plaintiff need not adduce evidence to prove facts leading to the conviction: Tay Sai Hiang v Tan Ee Keok [1968] 1 MLJ 234 .Counsel for the respondent, however, submitted that the evidence of the appellant that he did not commit the ... ...

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