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Paradine v Jane [1647] EWHC KB J5

CONTRACT, IMPOSSIBILITY TO ENJOY LAND, LANDLORD AND LESSEE, DUTY CREATED BY OWN CONTRACT, LIABILITY, ACCIDENT, HOUSE DESTROYED

Facts

The plaintiff, Paradine, brought an action against the defendant, Jane, for the rent arrears for the lands that Paradine had leased to Jane. The defendant acknowledge that he owed the money for the rent. However, the reason why he did not pay it was because the land was invaded by the enemy of the King, his cattle was driven away and he was expelled from the land, so effectively, he could not enjoy it.

Issue

Should a lessee who was expelled from his land be liable for rent for a period in which he has been expelled from the land.

Held

(1) Where a party creates a duty or charge upon himself by virtue of a contract, he is bound to perform the duty or pay the charge, notwithstanding any accident. The reason why this is so, is because the party could have inserted a clause in the contract, which prescribes what is to be done with the rent in case of an accident.

(2) In the absence of an express covenant, the lessee is equally liable as the rent is an obligation created upon the reservation.

(3) The lessee in the present case is bound to pay rent, despite the fact that the house may have been burnt by lightning, thrown down by enemies and although he may have been expelled from the land or the land may have been inundated.


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