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The owner of a quit-rent shall pay taxes only in proportion to what the land pays: but if the matter has been examined by the commissioners of the land-tax, the Court of Chancery will not re-examine it (a).
A house within the limits of an hospital, appropriated to an officer
of the hospital for the time being, is not assessable to the land-tax (i).
But a bill in equity will not lie for a tenant to be relieved out of the
arrears of rent, for taxes which he has actually paid on account of rent
reserved to a charity, which appears to be exempted from taxes (c).
The act of the 7th G. 3. c. 37. exempting the owner of certain lands embanked from the river Thames from all taxes and assessments whatsoever does not exempt the occupiers of houses built on such lands from the payment of the house and window duties imposed by stat. all G. 3. c. 40 (d).
Houses built on lands embanked from the Thames, pursuant to stat. 7. G. 3. c. 36". which vests those lands in the hands of the owners "free from taxes," are not liable to the general land-tax imposed by stat. 27 G. 3. though such act is conceived in general terms, and was passed subsequently to the act creating the redemption. Nor are such houses liable to the rates imposed by stat. 11 G. 3. e. ao (e).
If the Land-tax and paving rates are not deducted (as they ought to be) from the rent of the current year, they cannot be deducted, or the amount of them recovered back, from the landlord in any subsequent year (/).
Of Party Walls.—The statute 14 G. 3. c. 78. is « An Act for the further and better regulation of buildings and party-walls; but being very voluminous, we refer the reader to the Act itself. In the construction of that statute Eyre, C. J. observed, that it was easy to see that it was an ill-penned law, and that its meaning was left uncertain (g).
The lessor of a house at a rack-rent, (there being no other person entitled to any kind of rent) is liable to contribute to the expenses of a party-wall under the statute, though the lessee has improved the house demised (h).
So, if a lessee of a house at a rack-rent underlet it at an advanced rent; he is liable to contribute to the expenses of a party-wall built under the statute; nor is the operation of the Act at all varied by any covenants to repair, entered into between the landlord and his tenant. In this case, Eyre, C. J. said, I think that it was intended by the
legislature that the tenant should pay a moiety of the expense to the person building the wall, and reimburse himself by deducting the amount out of the rent of his immediate landlord, leaving it to him to make his claim on such other persons as he may think liable: that appears to me to be the best construction for putting the business in a practicable shape. I should incline to that opinion, even if it were made out that the covenant on the part of the tenant [among the covenants on the part of the lessee was one to make " all needful and necessary reparations and amendments whatsoever;"] included this case; for though the conduct of the tenant might be a breach of covenant, it would be fitter that the damages should be settledin an action of covenant, than to break in on the rules established by the statute. I know of no way of executing this law, if we enter into all the derivative claims of different landlords. If the tenant pay the money, let him reimburse himself, and leave the other parties to dispute among themselves. And Buller, J. (who entirely agreed with C. J.) said, There are three parties in this business; the man who built the wall, the tenant, and the tenant's immediate landlord. The owner of the adjoining house pursued the directions of 14 G. 3. c. 78. which gave him a right to call on the plaintiff (in replevin) for a moiety of the expense 5 that being settled, how does the case stand between the tenant and his landlord? I agree that we must consider whether the landlord be the owner of an improved rent; but in this case he has an improved rent, since he receives more than the person of whom he took the premises: and if the landlord have the improved rent, he certainly is liable, though there be only one year of the term to come. As to the question, whether the expense can be apportioned, that does not arise here, but if any thing could be found to warrant an opinion thrown out by Lord Mansfield in Stone v. Greenwell (a), that the parties might be liable to a rateable proportion in some cases, it would tend much to the advancement of justice. The building a party-wall is certainly a great improvement to the premises, and every person interested in the fee and receiving a benefit from it, ought to contribute (d).
It is indeed clear that the owner of the improved rent, not of the ground-rent, is liable to pay the expenses of a party-wall built under the statute (c).
The assignee of the lessee of premises at a fixed rent, which he considerably improved, and thereby rendered of greater annual value, is not the owner of the improved rent within this statute (d).
But where the tenant of a house covenanted in his lease to pay a reasonable share and proportion of supporting, repairing and amend Ca) Cited. 3 T. R. 461. I (e) Peck ». Wood. 5 T. R. 130. (t) Sangster v. Birkhead. I Bos. & PuL 303. | (rf) Lamb* v. Htmans. * B. & A. 467.
ing all party-walls, &c. and to pay all taxes, duties, assessments, and impositions parliamentary and parochial, "it being the intention of the parties that the landlord should receive the clear yearly rent of 6ol. m net money without any deduction whatever; during the lease the proprietor of the adjoining house built a party-wall between that house and the house demised, under stat. 14 G. 3. e. 78. held that it was the tenant, not the landlord, who was bound to pay the moiety of the expense of the party-wall: for, said Lord Kenyon, the covenants in the lease render it unnecessary to consider which of the parties would have been liable under the Act of Parliament: modus et conventio viacunt legem. We collect the intention from the whole of the instrument. If this had rested itself merely upon a covenant to pay taxes, &c. I should not have thought a tenant liable, but here is a covenant that the landlord should have the rent clear and net. A covenant is always taken most strongly against the covenantor. I cannot bring my mind to doubt from the whole but that the tenant should pay the whole. Grose, J. This is as if the landlord had reserved a clear rent-charge to himself. Lawrence, J. The intention of the parties was that the landlord should have his rent free from any charge. It is not necessary to decide which party is the owner of the improved rent. Le Blanc, J. I ground myself on the covenant that the tenant" should pay a reasonable proportion of the party-wall (a).
A lessee for twenty-one years at a pepper-corn rent for the first half-year and a rack-rent for the rest of the term, who by agreement was to put the premises in repair, and covenanted to pay the land-tax and all other taxes, rates, assessments, and impositions, having assigned his term for a small sum in gross, was held not to be liable to pay the expense of a party-wall, either by the provisions of the stat. 14 G. 3. c. 78. s. 41. or the covenant; for where the parties contract for a lease at rack-rent, the landlord is the person who ought to bear the expense of the party-wall (b). So, where the parties stand, as in the principal case, in the relation of landlord and tenant, the former is liable under the Act of Parliament to pay the expense; for the legislature intended to throw the burthen on the lessees of building leases, by whom the value of the estates is considerably improved, and who afterwards make under-leases, reserving improved rents (£). If, however, a large sum were paid for the purchase of a lease, the original lessee, though no improved rent were reserved to him, would, it seems, be liable to pay this expense within the act of Parliament (£). The three months' notice required by s. 38. of the 14 G. 3. c. 78. is necessary only where the person who at the time when it is neces
(«) Barrett v. Duke of Bedford. 8 T. R. I (4) Southall v. Leadbcater. 3 T. R. «8. 60%. I
sary to build, &c. is liable to pay, cannot agree with the owner of the adjoining house (a).
The penalty of 13/. inflicted by /. 67. of the statute, for not having the new building surveyed, is recoverable against the master-builder, where the relations of the Act are not complied with, and not against the proprietor of the premises (b).
When a party-wall is built half upon one party's land and half upon the other party's, they are not tenants in common of such wall, although the same be erected at their joint expense (c).
Under a covenant to repair generally lessee is not bound to do the repairs to party-walls required by the building act (d).
The building act has not destroyed the right to lateral windows, which existed before that act (*).
It is no defence to an action for darkening ancient lights, that they are not conformable to the provisions of the building act (e).
If a building be erected contrary to the provisions of the building act, and no conviction be had upon s. 60. within three months, it is not rendered legal thereby, but may be afterwards proceeded against under that act (e).
A tenant who rebuilds a house in London, without a lease or agreement for a lease, and makes therein use of the party-wall of the adjoining house, cannot be sued for half the cost as owner of the improved rent; though he afterwards obtain, in consideration of the rebuilding, a beneficial lease at a low ground-rent, habendum from a day before the building (_/").
Where the tenant of a house agreed with a builder, the owner of the adjoining house, that he should build a party-wall and he would pay him what was right and fair, he is liable for his share of the expense, without reference to the building act (g).
In an action against the defendant for the negligence of his agent in pulling down the party-wall between the houses of the plaintiff and defendant, it is a good defence to shew that the plaintiff appointed an agent to superintend the work jointly with the defendant's agent, and that both agents were to blame (A).
Section III. Of the Poo?-'s-Rates.
The foundation of the Poor Laws was laid by the stat. 43 Elh. c. 2. which was passed for the best of purposes, namely, to compel the idle to be industrious, and to relieve the wants of the unfortunate, and afford them those comforts which they are disabled to procure from infirmity or age: from neglect and abuse, however, its provisions, and those of many other Acts passed for the same wise and benevolent purposes, are in a great measure frustrated.
(0) Peck v. Wood. 5 T. R. 130.
(4) Mcymot v. Southgate. 3 Esp. K..223.
(c) Malts v. Hawkins. 5 Taunt. 20.
(d) Moore v. Clark. Ibid. 90.
(«) Tiltcrton v. Conyers. Ibid. 465.
B Tjylor v. Reed. 6 Taunt. 240. (f) Stuart v. Smith. 7 Taunt. 158.2 Mart. 435- S. C.
(i) Hill v. Warren, a Stark. 377.
By sect, i of the stat. of EJiz. it is enacted, "that the churchwardens of every parish, and four, three, or two substantial householders there, as shall be thought meet, having respect to the proportion and greatness of the same parish and parishes, to be nominated yearly in Easter week, or within one month after Easter, (altered by stat. 54 G. 3.C.91. to the 25th day of March, or within fourteen days after) under the hand and seal of two or more Justices of the Peace in the same county, whereof one to be of the Quorum, dwelling in or near the same parish or division where the same parish doth lie, shall be called overseers of the poor of the same parish: And they, or the greater Part of them, shall take order from time to time, by and with the consent of two or more such Justices of the Peace as is aforesaid, for setting to work the children of all such whose parents shall not, by the said churchwardens and overseers, or the greater part of them, be thought able to keep and maintain them, and use no ordinary and daily trade of life to get their living by: And also to raise weekly or otherwise [by taxation of every inhabitant, parson, vicar, and other, and of every occupier of lands, houses, tithes impropriate, propriations of tithes, coal-mines, or saleable under-woods, in the said parish, in such competent sum and sums of money as they shall think fit) a convenient stock of flax, hemp, wool, thread, iron and other necessary ware and stuff, to set the poor on work: And also competent sums of money for and towards the necessary relief of the lame, impotent, old, blind, and such other among them, being poor, and not able to work and also for the putting out such children to be apprentices, to be gathered out of the same parish, according to the ability of the same parish, and to do and execute all other things as well for the disposing of the said stock, as otherwise concerning the premises, as to them shall seem convenient."
Sect. 4. " It shall be lawful, as well for the present as subsequent churchwardens and overseers, or any of them, by warrant from any two such Justices of the Peace as is aforesaid, to levy as well the said sums of money and all arrearages, of every one that shall refuse to contribute as they shall be assessed, by distress and sale of the offender's goods, as the sums of money or stock which shall be behind upon any account to be made as aforesaid, rendering to the parties the overplus; and in defect of such distress, it shall be lawful for any two such Justices of the Peace to commit him or them to the conmon gaol of the county, there to remain without bail or mainprise, until payment of the said sum, arrearages, and stock: And the said