Cheng Chun Pang v Cheng Ting Tat

Court:District Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:DCCJ2574/1970
Judgment Date:30 Sep 1970
DCCJ002574/1970 CHENG CHUN PANG v. CHENG TING TAT

DCCJ002574/1970

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF HONG KONG

HOLDEN AT VICTORIA

CIVIL JURISDICTION

ACTION NO. 2574 OF 1970

-----------------

Between :
CHENG CHUN PANG Plaintiff
AND
CHENG TING TAT Defendant

-----------------

Coram: Cons, District Judge.

Date of Judgment: 30 September 1970

-----------------

JUDGMENT

-----------------

1. The defendant to this action is the tenant of the ground floor premises at 52, Tang Lung Street in Wanchai. On the evening of the 29th of April this year the police raided the premises and found there 12 gentlemen gambling at pai kau. The following day the same 12 were, at Causeway Bay Magistracy, convicted on their own pleas as to one for keeping and as to the other eleven for playing in a common gaming house. On the 19th of June this fact was brought to the notice of the plaintiff landlord who then by a writ dated the 7th of July, i.e. before the next payment of rent became due, purported to forfeit the tenancy for breach of an express condition therein that the tenant should not use nor cause to be used the premises or any part thereof for illegal or immoral purposes.

2. The grant in this instance was not made in writing but was an oral agreement between the landlord and the tenant for a monthly tenancy. In addition, and I quote the words of the landlord,

"There were conditions upon which I granted the tenancy. The premises cannot be used to accommodate prostitutes, to store illegal things and cannot be used as a place for gambling and cannot be used in any way so as to be contrary to the ordinances of Hong Kong."

The tenant chose neither to cross-examine nor to give or call evidence in the action but in answer to a question put by myself he agreed that were was an express oral condition against the gambling on the premises.

3. The simple issue is therefore whether the provision against gambling amounts to a condition subsequent, upon breach of which the landlord can automatically re-enter or to a mere covenant, which without an express proviso for re-entry, can only be enforced by injunction or an action for damages. I appreciate that the landlord in his evidence specifically referred to it as a condition, albeit not without some little prompting by his solicitor, but this word is often used fairly loosely by laymen and even on occasion by those qualified, as...

To continue reading

Request your trial