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Case details

Jogie (Appellant) v Sealey (Respondent) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2017/0090

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary

Issue

Whether the Respondent was a tenant within the meaning of Land Tenants (Security of Tenure) Act ("the Act") and whether she had validly served a notice to renew her late mother’s lease.

Facts

The Respondent’s mother had a statutory lease over premises belonging to the Appellant’s father under the Land Tenants (Security of Tenure) Act. The lease was due to expire on 31 May 2011. On 31 May 2006, the premises were conveyed to the Appellant, subject to the statutory tenancy of the Respondent’s mother. On 21 December 2006, the Respondent’s mother died intestate. On 9 February 2008, the Respondent approached the Appellant to purchase the land but no purchase was completed. The dwelling house on the premises was destroyed by fire on 3 November 2008. On 12 January 2011, the Respondent sent the Appellant a certified cheque for rent payable for the period between 2008 and 2012 along with a Notice of Renewal in terms of section 4(3) of the Act. The Respondent received no reply to this notice.

On 1 February 2012, the Respondent issued a claim against the Appellant seeking, amongst other things, injunctive relief and an order confirming that the tenancy vested in her mother’s estate. After raising the action, on 2 November 2012, letters of administration were granted to the Respondent for her mother’s estate. On 17 October 2013, the High Court found that (i) the Respondent was a "tenant" within the meaning of the Act and (ii) the doctrine of relation back did not apply to the letters of administration granted to the Respondent. The Court of Appeal did not agree that the Respondent was a tenant under the Act but held that the Notice of Renewal was served for the benefit of the deceased’s estate and the doctrine of relation back applied meaning that, despite being served before the letters of administration were granted, the notice was effective as it was issued on or before 31 May 2011.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Mohan Jogie

Respondent(s)

Angela Sealey

Appeal

Justices

Lady Arden, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lord Stephens, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

9 December 2021

Hearing finish date

9 December 2021