Yat Yuen Hong Co Ltd v Turquand, Youngs & Co

CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
JudgeM Buttrose J
Judgment Date07 August 1967
Neutral Citation[1967] SGFC 19
Citation[1967] SGFC 19
Published date19 September 2003
Defendant CounselKA O'Connor (Drew & Napier)
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No Y18 of 1967
Date07 August 1967
Plaintiff CounselAP Godwin (Donaldson & Burkinshaw)

The appellants are the owners and landlords of a piece of property known as No 1 Bishopsgate Singapore of which the respondents are the tenants. No 1 Bishopsgate is subject to the provisions of the Control of Rent Ordinance (Ch 242).

The appellants were apparently anxious to obtain vacant possession of their own property and on 17 February 1966 they entered into an agreement with the respondents the material terms of which were as follows:

17 February 1966.

No 1, Bishopsgate

Deeds of agreement

1 Vacant Possession: 7 March 1966.

(2) Compensation: $110,000 payable

(a) $60,000 on 7 March 1966 before possession.

(b) $50,000 by five equal monthly instalments of $10,000 each payable on the last day of each succeeding month. First payment 7 April 1966.

(c) Interest payable on balance from time to time due at 8% per annum at the end of each month at same time as the abovementioned instalments.

(d) Bankers` guarantee to be given on 7 March 1966 guaranteeing payment of (b) and (c).

(e) Drew & Napier`s legal costs to be paid by Yat Yuen Hong Co Ltd.

On 5 March 1966 two days before the respondents were due to hand over vacant possession to the appellants and two days before the appellants were due to pay the agreed first instalment of $60,000, the appellants unilaterally repudiated the agreement. In consequence the respondents commenced an action on 22 March 1966 in the High Court of Singapore against the appellants for the $60,000 then due under the agreement of 17 February 1966.

The appellants` defence, inter alia, was that the agreement was unlawful by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of s 2(1) of the Premiums on Leases Ordinance (Ch 253) in that it was not forthwith presented for inspection to the city council or the successors thereof.

This issue together with another point of law raised by the defence was ordered to be tried before the trial of the action and in the result Ambrose J who heard the preliminary issue held that the respondents had not been guilty of any unlawful act under s 2(1) of the Premiums on Leases Ordinance. The appellants now appeal.

Section 2(1) of the Premiums on Leases Ordinance provides as follows:

It shall be unlawful for any landlord, or agent of a landlord as a condition of the grant, renewal or continuance of any lease or agreement for the tenancy of any building or part of a building, or for any person as a condition of giving up possession of any building, or

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