HARRISONS TRADING (SARAWAK) SDN BHD v. EASTERN PILLARS SDN BHD & ANOR

[2018] 1 SSLR 104

HARRISONS TRADING (SARAWAK) SDN BHD v. EASTERN PILLARS SDN BHD & ANOR
Court of Appeal, Putrajaya
Rohana Yusuf, Idrus Harun, Mary Lim Thiam Suan JJCA
[Civil Appeal No: Q-02(NCVC)(W)-3-01-2016]
22 December 2017

JUDGMENT

Mary Lim Thiam Suan JCA:

Introduction

[1] The appellant were tenants of premises initially owned by the 1st respondent and then the 2nd respondent. A fire broke out on the premises which destroyed almost all the stocks and the building located on the premises. The respondents claimed that the fire was due to the negligence of the appellant, its servants or agents and it sued the appellant for losses allegedly sustained by reason of the fire. After a full trial, the learned judge found the allegations of negligence made out and allowed the losses, as claimed. The learned judge dismissed the counterclaim of the appellant for losses it had sustained in the fire.

[2] The appeal was allowed by this court after due and proper consideration of both written and oral submissions from the learned counsel for the respective parties and after careful examination of the records of appeal.

Background Facts

[3] The factual background have been well set out by the learned judge in her grounds of decision. We adopt them substantially but set out the following facts for easier and better appreciation of the reasons for our decision.

[4] The 1st respondent owned a piece of land located at Upper Lanang, Sibu upon which a three-storey concrete building was built (the premises). The 1st respondent used the 2nd floor of the building as its store. Pursuant to two tenancy agreements, the 1st respondent rented out different portions of the premises to the appellant at different rates of rentals and for over a total period of 10 years. The appellant used the rented space for its warehouse and office. Subsequent to the tenancy agreements, the appellant is said to have expressed interest in renting a further portion of the premises. A rental was proposed by the 1st respondent who proceeded to construct a roof over this area (extended portion) to meet the appellant's interest. On 3 January 2012, the 2nd respondent became the new landlord to the appellant. A notice of change of landlord was given to the appellant. The appellant consented to this change.

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