Open main menu

Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2173

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
1963
LEGAL MEMORANDA

treated as being in arrear until midnight of that day, that is to say, proceedings for its recovery by distress or otherwise could" not be taken till the next day.

Deductions from.—Where the tenant, in order to protect himself in the enjoyment of the premises, is compelled to make a payment which, as between himself and his landlord, ought to have been paid by the landlord, the tenant has an implied authority to make such payment and deduct it from his rent. This applies to the payment by the tenant of the landlord's rates and taxes, the payment of ground rent, or any other rent to a superior landlord, who can distrain upon the tenant if it be not paid. In the absence of express agreement, no other deduction can be made from the rent.

Payment in advance.—Rent is sometimes, by special agreement, made payable in advance, in which case it becomes due in advance and can be recovered accordingly. But unless it is expressly so stipulated, there is risk in paying rent in advance, for if the landlord has mortgaged or assigned his reversion in the premises, the payment of rent in advance to the landlord will not prevent the mortgagee or assignee from claiming it over again at the time it properly becomes due, provided he has, at any time prior to that date, given notice to the tenant to pay it to him.

Recovery of, when in arrear.—Rent in arrear is recoverable by action or by distress.

Distress.

When capable of being made. Distress may be levied between sunrise and sunset on any day (other than Sunday) after that on which the rent became due; and without any previous demand for the rent. It cannot be levied alter the issue of a writ to enforce forfeiture; and in cases where the tenant continues in possession after the end of the tenancy, it can only be levied within six months after that date.

What rent may be recovered by distress.—The rent recoverable is limited to six years' arrears, or in the case of agricultural holdings, one year's rent only. Where, however, according to the ordinary dealing between the land-lord and tenant of an agricultural holding, payment of rent is allowed to be deferred until the expiration of a quarter or a half year after it legally became due, the year within which distress may be levied will not begin to run until the expiration of such quarter or half year; but this does not prevent the landlord from distraining at any time after the rent legally became due.

By whom leviable.—Distress can only be levied by the landlord himself or by some person authorized in writing by a county court judge, or registrar, to act as a bailiff. Upon request by the tenant such bailiff must produce his certificate.

How levied.—Entry for the purpose of levying distress can only be effected by means of an open, or, if closed, an unfastened door, or by an open window or other open means of access. It cannot be effected by breaking open an outer door to any premises, or by unfastening or opening any window or skylight which is closed. If, however, a window, etc., is partially open, it may be further opened, and if the glass is broken there is no objection to using the opening thus afforded for the purpose of unfastening the window, etc.

Upon entrv, the rent must be demanded, and if the distress be made by a bailiff. he must show his warrant from the landlord. If the rent and costs paid or tendered, goods sufficient to meet the tenant's liability may be seized and for this purpose inner doors may be broken open. Notice that the goods have been seized is then given, and an inventory is made and handed to the tenant. Unless before the expiration of five days (which may, on the written request of the tenant, be extended to fifteen days) the tenant pays the rent and costs, the goods can then be sold either on the premises or elsewhere.[1] Appraisement of the goods is not necessary unless requested

  1. The landlord cannot himself become the purchaser,