The mysterious tale of the disappearing landlord

In Lam Che v Foung Sheu Kwan ([2010] HKEC 1252) tenants occupied a flat under an oral tenancy. The rent was collected monthly. The Landlord, Madam Foung, called at the flat to collect the rent every month. Then, in the summer of 1984, she simply stopped calling at the flat. The tenants tried to find her but could not do so. The judge directed that an advertisement be placed in a Hong Kong newspaper in an attempt to alert Madam Foung to the proceedings. The Hong Kong press wrote about the story. Still there was no sign of Madam Foung. In the meantime, the tenants had started to pay the rates and other fees relating to the apartment. The judge held that he was satisfied that the tenants had been in adverse possession since 1 January 1985 and that, therefore, the title of Madam Foung had been extinguished.

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