Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

MESNE PROFITS & DAMAGES FOR USE AND OCCUPATION

Dictum

Another area of difference between mesne profits and damages for use and occupation is the date of commencement. Mesne profits start to run from the date of service of the process for determining the tenancy (see Canas Property Co. Ltd. v. K. L. Television Services Ltd. (1970) 2 QB 433. But damages for use and occupation start to run from the date of holding over the property, the function of the court being to ascertain an amount which may constitute a reasonable satisfaction for the use and occupation of the premises held over by the tenant. The previous rent may sometimes be a guide, but may not be conclusive.

– Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Petroleum v. Owodunni (1991)

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

OPTION CLAUSE IN A TENANCY AGREEMENT BINDS SUCCESSIVE LESSORS

An option clause in a tenancy agreement is a covenant which runs with the land and binds the successors of both the lessor and the lessee in possession. It is immaterial that the lease is not registered provided the lessee has entered into possession and paid the rent pursuant to the agreement, he acquired a legal tenancy. Both parties in such a case are bound by the terms of the agreement and the parties are treated as having the same rights and as being subject to the same liabilities as if a valid lease had been granted. See Manchester Brewery Co. v. Coombs (1901) 2 Ch. 608, p.613.

— Coker, JSC. Okoye v Dumez & Ors. (1985) – SC.89/1984

Was this dictum helpful?

CUSTOMARY TENANT CANNOT BE IN POSSESSION WHERE LANDLORD NOT IN POSSESSION

A customary tenant is a tenant from year to year liable under Customary Law to pay rents or tribute to the landlord for the use of the land and barred from alienating the land or disputing the title of the landlord without consent. He cannot be in possession if his landlord is out of possession as the possession he enjoys is that given by the landlord. The landlord is the
holder under the Land Use Act and the tenant does not come within the definition of holder. Where there is a holder, the tenant although an occupier, is not entitled to a customary right of occupancy.

– Obaseki, JSC. Abioye v. Yakubu (1991) – SC.169/1987

Was this dictum helpful?

TENANCY IS A BILATERAL CONDUCT BETWEEN PARTIES

An act of a new tenancy is conscious and specific one which must be a subject of bilateral conduct on the part of the landlord and tenant. As a matter of law, the parties must clearly and unequivocally express their willingness to enter into the new tenancy at the termination of the old one. As a specific act emanating from the landlord and the tenant, it cannot be a subject of guess or speculation. An agreement or contract is a bilateral affair which needs the ad idem of the parties. Therefore where parties are not ad idem, the court will find as a matter of law that an agreement or contract was not duly made between the parties.

– Tobi JSC. Odutola v. Papersack (2007)

Was this dictum helpful?

NATURE OF A TENANCY AT WILL

A tenancy at will, which is held by a tenant at will, generally conveys a mutual wish or intention on the part of the tenant and the landlord in the occupation of the estate. There is general understanding that the estate may be legally terminated at any time. A tenancy at will is built into the mutual understanding that both the tenant and the landlord can terminate the tenancy when any of them likes or at any time convenient to any of them. In a tenancy at will, the lessee (the tenant) is the tenant at will because the lessor (the landlord) can send him packing at any time the lessor pleases. In other words, the tenant occupies the estate at the pleasure or happiness of the landlord. This is however subject to proper notice emanating from the landlord.

A tenancy at will arises whenever a tenant with the consent of the owner occupies land as tenant (and not merely as servant or agent) on terms that either party may determine the tenancy at any time. This kind of tenancy may be created expressly (e.g. Manfield and Sons Ltd. v. Botchin (1970) 2 QB 612) or by implication, common examples are where a tenant whose lease has expired holds over with landlord’s permission without having yet paid rent on a period basis. (See Meye v. Electric Transmission Ltd. (1942) Ch. 290), where a tenant takes possession under a void lease or person is allowed to occupy a house rent free and for indefinite period and (usually) where a purchaser has been let into possession pending completion.

– Onnoghen JSC. Odutola v. Papersack (2007)

Was this dictum helpful?

BREACH OF COVENANT IS A MERE GROUND FOR FORFEITURE

The 2nd respondent’s argument is also misplaced in another respect: It assumes that upon breach of a covenant in a lease, the forfeiture of the lease is automatic. It is, however, trite that a breach of a covenant is merely a ground for forfeiture. The lessee may, however, apply for relief.

– Nnaemeka-agu, JSC. Ude v. Nwara (1993)

Was this dictum helpful?

TENANT HAS EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION OF LAND GIVEN TO HIM BY A FAMILY

I find myself unable to accept that a tenant given a parcel of land and put in possession by a family to farm has no exclusive possession of the land for the duration of his grant. The idea of giving out farmland in parcels and putting allottees or tenants in possession of their respect parcels is to give them exclusive possession to their respective parcels of land notwithstanding any easement that may be available. Without revocation of the grant, the use to which the land was put by consent, i.e. farming, cannot be disturbed without attracting liability in damages for trespass. The action filed by the plaintiffs/respondents by itself is eloquent testimony to the fact that no one is allowed to disturb the possession of land given to the tenant by the family. Also if a tenant’s possession is disturbed, our 1963 Constitution and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979 as the laws of the land give him a right to sue for redress.

– Obaseki, JSC. Ekpan v. Agunu (1986)

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.