Tenancy at will: right to distrain

In Anderson v The Midland Railway Company ((1861) 3 Ellis and Ellis 614, 121 E.R. 573) L and T entered into an agreement for lease. The lease was to be under seal but, in the meantime, T was allowed into possession under the terms of an express agreement that contained a provision to the effect that rent was to be paid in the same manner as was to be provided for in the formal lease. When T fell into arrears, it was held that L had a right to distrain on L’s goods.

Cockburn C.J. said:

‘The tenancy thus created was, by the words of the agreement, at a fixed and ascertained rent, commencing at an ascertained date: and, that being so, it follows that the landlord had a right to distrain.’ (576).

Michael Lower

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