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SOME ASPECTS OF RENT RESTRICTION provides that the notice of intention to increaseLAW.
must be in writing, and" in the form contained
in the First Schedule to this Act, or in a form By Theo. SOPHIAN, of the Inner Temple, substantially to the same effect.” In framing Barrister-at-Law.
a notice of intention to increase, therefore, one VII. THE NOTICE OF INTENTION TO INCREASE. must be guided solely by the statutory form,
and it might be safely said that any
substantial Before a landlord will be entitled to recover departure from that form will wholly invalidate an increased rental from his tenant, the two the notice. conditions required by section 3 (1) and (2) of Reference may, in this connection, usefully the Act of 1920 must be fulfilled. In the first be made to the judgment of the learned place, any contractual tenancy that may have Sheriff-Substitute in Stewart v. Currie (1925, hitherto been in existence must have been duly S.L.T. Rep. (Sh. Ct.) at p. 18), where the learned determined, whether by effluxion of time or the judge mentioned some of the essential requireservice of a valid notice to quit; or, again, by ments for a valid notice of intention to increase.
a the service of a valid notice of intention to in- Such a document," the learned judge said, crease rent (Aston v. Smith,  2 K.B. 143). must appear to state to whom it is sent, the
It does not, of course, necessarily follow that premises to which it refers, the amount of wherever there has been an increase of rent increase of rent and the rent that is thus that the occupation of the tenant must be increased, the date from which the increase a purely statutory one, since the Acts do not takes effect, how it is made up, the address of prevent the creation of a
new contractual the landlord who signs the notice. These are tenancy. It will be at the option of the parties the essentials that make any document served whether their new relationship should be on a by a landlord on his tenant, a document subcontractual or alternatively on a purely statutory stantially to the same effect as the form given basis. In any event, whatever the nature of in the statutory schedule to the Act of the relationship, it is essential that a valid 1920..... On the other hand, it must not notice of intention to increase rent must have contain any demand
the tenant not been served before the landlord will be en- authorised by the statutory schedule of notice, titled to an increase of rent; and so stringently or any qualifications of, or conditions attached have the Courts construed this provision (i.e. to, the authorised contents of that notice." section 3 (2) of the Act of 1920) that they have Again, in Penfold v. Newman ( 1 K.B. held that its operation is retrospective. Thus, in 645), Mr Justice Salter said (ibid. at p. 654, 655): Michael v. Phillips ( 1 R.B. 16), premises “There must have been some reason for the which for the first time became controlled under insertion of the term ' valid’in the amending the Act of 1920 had been let prior to 1920 for Act (of 1920). I think that the term was ina term expiring on the 25th March 1920 at a serted because it was intended that the notice rent of £107, 188. a year, that being the standard should be correct in substance as well as in rent. Subsequently, on the 17th February 1920, form, and should accurately state all material the landlord's executors granted to the tenant a facts, including the amount of the increase of lease of the premises for seven years from the 25th rent which the landlord has a legal right to March 1920 (see section 1 of the Act of 1920) claim.” at a rent of £160 a year.
The Court of Appeal
With these general observations, I shall now held that the increase was not recoverable, refer to the various cases in which the question inasmuch as no notice of intention to increase of the effect on the validity of the notice, of had been served, the service of such a notice some particular addition or error or omission, being a condition precedent to the lessor's right has been considered. to increase the rent; and they further held that Since the passing of the Notices of Increase it was immaterial that the lease, purporting to Act, 1923, it has, of course, become immaterial increase the rent, was made before the passing to consider such questions as whether the of the Act, and therefore at a time when the notice of increase must precede, or accompany, lessors could have had no knowledge of the or follow the notice to quit, since, if no notice condition required in order that they may be to quit has been given, or if the notice to quit entitled to the increase.
is bad, the notice of intention to increase, if The whole question of the right to recover an valid, will have the double effect of being at increased rental is so bound up with the question one and the same time a valid notice to quit of the validity of a notice of intention to in- and a valid notice of intention to increase. crease rent, that it would appear to be of the In Stewart v. Currie (supra) a notice of ingreatest advantage to examine the cases which tention to increase was held to be bad by have a bearing on this question.
reason of the following errors, viz. : (1) That Subsection (2) of section 3 of the Act of 1920 | the net rent had been wrongly stated; (2) that
the address of the Sanitary Authority had been amount of the increase had been determined wrongly stated (see also Wilson v. Scanlan, ibid. prior to the service of the notice, in the manner 20; Stewart v. Woods, ibid. 22); (3) that there provided by paragraph (ü), i.e. by agreement had been included, quite unnecessarily, in the between the parties, or, in the absence of notice, an elaborate statement of the rates in such agreement, by the County Court. That various districts, including that of the premises case is also of importance, in that the Court in question. On the other hand, the fact that further held that any agreement arrived at both net and standard rents were stated at subsequent to the date of the service of the their amounts per annum instead of per notice, confirming the amount of the increase month, the letting being admittedly a monthly actually stated in the notice, would not validate one, was held in the same case as not being the notice. sufficient to invalidate the notice.
Both the English and the Scottish Courts, In Wilson v. Scanlan (ibid. at p. 20) the notice therefore, may be said to have interpreted the was held invalid on the following among other provisions of section 3 (2) of the Act of 1920 grounds, i.e. (1) the increase on account of rates with the greatest stringency, but the Irish was based, not on any actual valuation as at Courts appear to have taken a more lenient view the date of the notice, but on a forecast of what of the matter. the valuation would be for the ensuing year ; Thus, in Connolly v. Whelan (54 I.L.T. Rep. (2) the original notice was followed by an 18) the Court was of opinion that mistakes in explanatory notice, qualifying the original notice, the notice as to the amount of the rates payable and making the increase on account of rates by the landlord in 1914 and in 1918, and as to conditional on the rates for the ensuing year, the date from which the increased rent would being in accordance with the forecast. And it be recoverable, would not invalidate the notice. was further held in the same case that there And in Elliot v. Ellis ( 2 I.R. 45) the was no difference between an illegal qualification fact that an increase was wrongly claimed in appearing on the face of the notice itself, and a respect of improvements under section 2 (1) (a) similar qualification adjected to it by a separate of the Act of 1920, and that the increase document.
claimed under section 2 (1) (d) was excessive, In Diprose v. Halford (unreported) it was inasmuch as the landlord was not responsible held that the standard rent must be correctly for the whole of the repairs, was held not to stated.
have invalidated the notice. In Peizer v. Federman (38 T.L.R. 54) it was The observations to be made on these Irish held that the notice must state the correct dates cases, however, are that Connolly v. Whelan from which the landlord would be entitled to was a decision under the 1915 Act, which does the increase.
not appear to contain as stringent a provision In Hill v. Hasler ( 3 K.B. 643) a notice (see section 1 (1) (vi), where the word “valid” of increase which allowed a longer period than is not to be found) as section 3 (2) of the Act of that permitted by section 3 (2) of the Act of 1920, requiring the notice to be valid, and which, 1920, before the increases were to become further, does not contain any form of notice. effective, was held to be valid. The notice, And it may be on this ground too that the moreover, contained an apparent ambiguity. English case of Steel v. Mahoney (34 T.L.R. The notice, which was dated the 23rd October (327) may be explained. In that case the 1922, stated that the increase on account of notice claimed a greater increase than the rates will date from November 24th, 1920, landlord was entitled to, and the notice further being one clear week from the date of this notice, did not comply with the provision of section and that the increase on account of other 1 (1) (vi) of the 1915 Act, whereby no increase matters will date from November 24th, 1920, was to be due or recoverable until after the being four clear weeks from the date of this expiry of four clear weeks from the date of the notice.'
service of the notice. In Penfold v. Newman ( 1 K.B. 645) As regards Elliot v. Ellis, however, that was a notice of increase was held invalid because a decision under the 1920 Act, and so the same it claimed an increase of 15 per cent. of the net observations cannot be said to apply; but the rent, under section 2 (1) (a) of the Act of 1920, Court in that case appears to have based its where the circumstances were such that the judgment on the fact that there had been a landlord was entitled to an increase of 5 per subsequent agreement between the parties cent. of the net rent only.
as to the amount of increase to be paid. But, In Bourne v. Litton (40 T.L.R. 390) it was. even so, it would appear difficult to reconcile held that a notice claiming an increase under this case with Bourne v. Litton (supra). section 2 (1) (d) (ii) of the Act of 1920 (i.e. where the landlord is not responsible for the whole of the repairs) would be invalid unless the
WIDOWS' AND ORPHANS' PENSIONS.
time of his death was employment in
England, Scotland, or Wales for which WOMEN WHO NOW WIDOWS OR
he would have been insured under the BECOME WIDOWS BEFORE 4TH JANUARY 1926.
new Pensions Act if it had then been
Notes on above conditions.
Widows will be able readily to see whether Act of Parliament. Under a special clause in they fulfil conditions (1), (2) and (3) above. the Act widows and orphans whose husbands Conditions (4) and (5) will not be so readily
understood. If the husband was insured for or parents are dead or die before 4th January 1926 will be entitled to payment of pension as any period under the National Health Insurfrom 5th January 1926, under certain con
ance Acts, or if he was employed at a salary ditions. Widows entitled to the pension will not exceeding £250 a year (or £160 a year up be entitled to receive additional allowances
to 30th June 1919), the widow may have a for :
Widows not clearly disentitled.
attending for full-time instruction at a guidance of those widows who, not being day school.
clearly disentitled, may apply for pension. The number of widows who will be entitled to pension at 5th January will be very con
Forms of Application.
after that date.
Assistance to Applicants.
The Scottish Board of Health is the depart
ment which will have charge of the administraQualifying conditions.
tion of the Act in Scotland, and they are making In the first place, intending applicants preparations to give all the help possible to should make reasonably sure that they are applicants in making out their claims and in not clearly debarred from receiving a pension. helping them to trace birth, marriage, and No widow will be entitled unless :
death certificates, and to find out whether the (1) she will be under seventy years of age at dead husband had the necessary insurance or 4th January 1926.
employment qualifications. (2) she has at least one legitimate child or Teachers have, through their association, very
step-child under the age of fourteen at kindly volunteered to give all the help they can 4th January 1926.
in filling up forms, etc., and no doubt widows, (3) she has been resident in Scotland, England who have been drawing allowances from the
or Wales since 4th January 1924. Parish Council, will find the local Inspector of
press or on posters in the post office which will (4) her husband was insured under the give the dates of such visits.
National Health Insurance Act during Leaflets will also be obtainable at post offices, the last two years of his life, and not or from the Scottish Board of Health, giving less than 104 health insurance con- general information about the Act, and telling tributions had been paid in respect of claimants how to set about filling up their him since his date of entry into in application forms and proving their claims. surance,
Meanwhile the following hints to applicants
should be carefully kept in view : (5) her husband's usual occupation up to the (i) Don't delay in filling in your application
form, and if you have any doubts EXTRA GLASGOW CIRCUIT, OCTOBER 1925.-
Pleading Diet-Friday, 9th October 1925. (ii) Look out the following certificates and Service-Friday, 2nd October 1925. The Hon. keep them ready :
Lord Hunter and the Hon. Lord Blackburn.
child under fourteen years of Clerks.
MR THOMAS J. SALMON, solicitor, Bo'ness,
Bo'ness in room of the late Mr Sharpe. Mr
appointed to the newly-combined offices of (iii) Search carefully for any papers regarding Burgh Chamberlain and Collector of Burgh your husband's insurance which may
Rates, vacant through the decease of Mr
Cards, Record Cards, Panel
WHIMSICAL.-A Buchan wit has written out "(iv) If no insurance documents can be found, his will, closing with rustic humour to enliven
but you can remember the name of the reading of it after his funeral. After the
your husband's insurance by careful the doctors frae Aiberdeen dinna' ken a'thing,
I am adding a codicil to the list of ma legacies.'
The death took place suddenly last Tuesday
morning, at his residence at Kilmacolm, of
Mr James Craig Gatheral, writer, a partner of The conditions under which pension will be the Glasgow firm of Messrs Wright, Johnston payable from 5th January to an orphan, both & Mackenzie. Mr Gatheral was associated with of whose parents have died before 4th January the work of the firm for over twenty years. He 1926, will be set out in the explanatory leaflet is survived by a widow. above referred to, which will be obtainable at any post office.or from the Scottish Board of Health after the beginning of September. The
MR Hugh M. GRAHAM, a well-known solicitor last page of the leaflet will be a form of prelim- and public official in Inverness, died in the inary application for orphan's pension. The Northern Infirmary on Tuesday last as the application will fall to be made by the orphans result of a gun accident in his home. guardian (or person having charge of the
The deceased gentleman had practised his orphan), who should obtain and read through profession in Inverness for twenty-eight years, the leaflet, and if satisfied that the child or joining his firm when the late Mr Andrew children) is not clearly disentitled from re- Macdonald was appointed Sheriff-Clerk of ceiving a pension, submit a claim without delay.
Inverness-shire. Mr Graham filled several The rate of pension payable in respect of public offices in the town, one of which was orphans is 7s.6d. a week for each orphan.
that of Clerk to the Burgh School Board
and to the School Management Committee. *** MR THOMAS LIDDLE, S.S.C., 5 Hill Street, He had an extensive private practice, and Edinburgh, informs us that he has assumed Mr acted as Unionist agent at elections in the R. W. Martin, W.S., as a partner, and that in county and burgh of Inverness. His death future the business will be carried on under the is deeply deplored by the Freemasons of the firm name of T. & W. Liddle & Martin, W.S. North, among whom he was an outstanding
personality. He was a Past-Master of St John's MR T. J. MʻLEAN LAING, solicitor, lately of Lodge, Deputy-Master of the Provincial Grand No. 15 South Tay Street, Dundee, informs us Lodge of Inverness-shire, and First Principal of that he is continuing the practice of his profes- the Royal Arch Chapter. He was a bachelor, sion at No. 59 George Street, Edinburgh.
and fifty-nine years of age.
SOME ASPECTS OF RENT RESTRICTION such documents as, for instance, notices to
The difficulty in each case will lie in deterBy THEO. SOPHIAN, of the Inner Temple, mining whether the error or omission or unBarrister-at-Law.
necessary addition still leaves the document a
notice of intention to increase rent, although a VIII. AMENDMENT OF THE NOTICE OF INCREASE.
faulty notice; or whether, on the other hand, it
has the effect of preventing the document from Under the Act of 1920, if a notice of increase being a notice of intention to increase at all. As was bad, the increases of rent to which the the learned Sheriff-Substitute said in Stewart v. notice related were not recoverable at all. Currie (1925, S.L.T. (Sh. Ct.) Rep. at p. 18) : Owing to the hardship thus caused to landlords The error or omission which the Court is in general, the Act of 1923 provided by section empowered to amend is not an error or omission 6 (1) that “the 'county court,' [or in Scotland as to the form of notice to be served, but an error the sheriff court,'] if satisfied that any error or
or omission in the form of notice that the omission in a notice of intention to increase statute requires to be served. Therefore, the rent, whether served before or after the passing question whether a document which has been of the Act, is due to a bona fide mistake on the served upon the tenant is a notice of intention part of the landlord, shall have power to amend to increase rent, though an invalid one, remains such notice by correcting any errors and to be tested solely by the requirements of supplying any omissions therein, which, if not section 3 (2) of the Act of 1920.” And then the corrected or supplied, would render the notice learned Sheriff-Substitute proceeded to consider invalid, on such terms and conditions as respects what these requirements were. arrears of rent or otherwise as appear to the Assuming, however, that the document before court to be just and reasonable, and, if the court the Court is, in effect, a notice of intention to so directs, the notice as so amended shall have increase, although invalid, one must next coneffect and be deemed to have had effect as a sider the limits of the power of amendment valid notice." With this provision must also given to the Court by section 6 (1). That be read section 8 (1) of the same Act, whereby provision speaks of "errors” and “omissions," 8
" no increase of rent which becomes payable by so that the power of the Court must be strictly reason of an amendment of a notice of increase limited to the correcting of errors and the made by order of the county court [in Scotland, supplying of omissions. Where, therefore, the the sheriff court] shall be recoverable in respect document contains any additional matter which of any rental period which ended more than materially affects the document and renders it six months before the date of the order." invalid, it is submitted that the Court will have
The first question one must therefore consider no power to amend, since the insertion of unis: What are the circumstances in which an necessary matter can scarcely be described as amendment may be made ? The answer to an error. On the other hand, it should be this query is to be found in a series of recent noted that in Stewart v. Currie (supra) one of Scotch decisions. There does not appear to be the objections made against the notice was that any other reported authorities on this point, it contained an elaborate, and to a large extent although no doubt the Court, at an early stage unnecessary, statement of the rates in various of the operation of the Act of 1923, must have rating districts (including that of the premises been faced with questions of this character. in question) in 1914–15 and 1919-20, and yet
Section 6 (1), it should be observed, gives the Court treated this as an amendable error. the Court the power of amending a notice of
Even if the document is a notice of intention intention to increase, so that if the document to increase, and even if it contains amendable which the Court is called upon to amend is errors or omissions,” the landlord will have not such a notice, but something of a different yet another stile to clear. It will be necessary character, the above provision cannot possibly for him to satisfy the Court that the error or apply. Thus, in Lamb v. M'Gettigan (1925, omission was due to a bona fide mistake on his S.L.T. (Sh. Ct.) Rep. at p. 23), it was held that part. One might again usefully quote from the a document, which was in effect a demand judgment in Stewart v. Currie : Not
every made by the landlord under the House-Letting error omission," the learned Sheriff and Rating (Scotland) Act, 1920, for payment Substitute said (at pp. 18-19); " is the result of by the tenant of increased occupier's assessments a mistake. It is therefore necessary to shew for the previous years, was not a notice of the Court in each case how the error or omission increase. In such a case, therefore, it would be was made, and to satisfy the Court in that way impossible to invoke the aid of the Court in that at the time it was made the landlord, at order to amend the document, since otherwise least, thought that what turns out to be an error one might as well ask the Court to amend was correct, and that what turns out to be an