ROHASASSETS SDN BHD v. WEATHERFORD (M) SDN BHD & ANOR

[2019] 6 MLRA 594

ROHASASSETS SDN BHD v. WEATHERFORD (M) SDN BHD & ANOR
Federal Court, Putrajaya
Azahar Mohamed CJM, David Wong Dak Wah CJSS, Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Idrus Harun, Abdul Rahman Sebli FCJJ
[Civil Appeal No: 02(f)-12-02-2019(W)]
26 November 2019

JUDGMENT

Abdul Rahman Sebli FCJ:

[1] The leave question for our determination was as follows:

"In relation to a claim for double rent under s 28(4)(a) of the Civil Law Act 1956, whether there is a requirement on the landlord to show wilful and contumacious conduct on the part of the tenant holding over to render the tenant liable to pay the said double rent."

[2] The question may be paraphrased: If the tenant holds over after the expiry of the tenancy, is there a need for the landlord to prove wilful and contumacious conduct on the part of the tenant to entitle the landlord to charge double rent under s 28(4)(a) of the Civil Law Act 1956?

[3] The Court of Appeal had agreed with the High Court that it is a requirement under s 28(4)(a) of the Civil Law Act 1956 ("the Civil Law Act") that there must be wilful or contumacious holding over on the part of the tenant to entitle the landlord to claim double rental. Having so decided on the question of law, it found no reason to interfere with the High Court's finding of fact that there was no evidence to prove contumacious conduct on the part of the respondents.

[4] We heard arguments by the parties on 2 October 2019 and reserved judgment to a date to be fixed. We have now reached a unanimous decision and this is our judgment.

[5]Section 28(4)(a) of the Civil Law Act is couched in the following language:

"(4)(a) Every tenant holding over after the determination of his tenancy shall be chargeable, at the option of his landlord, with double the amount of rent until possession is given up by him or with double the value during the period of detention of the land or premises so detained, whether notice to that effect has been given or not."

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