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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2171

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1961
LEGAL MEMORANDA

has, in fact, undertaken to do repairs, he is under no responsibility until notice has been given him of the want of repair; that he had the means of knowing is not sufficient. If the landlord fail to do the repairs after notice, the tenant is not entitled to do them himself and deduct the cost from his rent; his only remedy is to sue for damages for breach of covenant.

Where a landlord lets a house in a defective condition and agrees to repair it, but neglects to do so, and in consequence of the defective condition the tenant or his wife are injured, the landlord is liable ; and presumably such would be the case if injury were sustained by one of the tenant's children.

Covenant to allow the Landlord to enter and view the State of Repair.—In the absence of agreement, the landlord has no right to enter the premises except in the case of agricultural holdings—in respect to which the right to do so is now given him by statute.

Covenant by Landlord for quiet enjoyment of the Premises by the Tenant.—The essential object of this covenant is to protect the tenant against a disturbance of his possession by any person claiming a right to the premises by, through or under the landlord. In the case of trespass by any other person, the only remedy is against such wrongdoer, at the instance of the tenant. The above covenant will also prevent the landlord from committing any physical disturbance of the tenant's quiet enjoyment, as, for instance, by erecting in close proximity to the premises a building of such height as to cause the tenant's chimneys to smoke. So, too, if the landlord lets certain rooms in a house under a covenant for quiet enjoyment, he cannot let other rooms over them to another tenant for dancing and entertainment without committing a breach of the covenant.

Covenant by Tenant not to assign or underlet the Premises or any Part thereof without the Assent of the Landlord.—Unless the lease is expressly determinable upon breach of such covenant, and the landlord determine it accordingly, an assignment though made without his assent will not be invalid ; but the person to whom the assignment has been made will himself he bound by the terms of the lease. Not unfrequently the covenant in question is qualified by the stipulation that the landlord's assent shall not be unreasonably withheld ; in which case, if his assent be applied for but refused, the tenant may make the assignment or under-lease without committing a breach of his undertaking, provided he can, if called upon, show that the landlord's refusal to assent was in fact, unreasonable; but unless he had actually applied for such assent, it would clearly be a breach of his covenant. Where the assent is required to be in writing, the tenant cannot safely act upon an assent given verbally.

In the absence of express agreement, no fine or sum of money in the nature of a fine can be obtained by the landlord in respect to his licence or assent. This does not, however, prevent him from requiring, as a condition on which he will grant this assent, the deposit of a sum of money by way of security for the performance of the obligations under the lease.

A covenant against assignment only does not prevent the tenant from underletting, unless the covenant forbids an assignment for the whole or any part of the term.

Covenant by the Tenant not to use the Premises otherwise than as a Private House.—The use of the premises either as a day school or boarding school, or as an art studio for instruction of pupils, or as an office for the receipt of orders, or the exhibition of goods for sale, will constitute a breach of the above covenant. So, too, the carrying on the business of a lodging-house, or the use of the premises as a boarding-house for scholars attending a school in the school kept by the tenant, although the house be not advertised as a residence for pupils.

Covenant to Insure the Premises.—On a breach of this covenant the tenant is, if there has been no loss, liable for the cost of effecting the necessary insur-