Coomansingh v Bermudez Biscuit Company Ltd

JurisdictionGrenada
JudgeSt. Paul, J.
Judgment Date11 November 1992
Neutral CitationGD 1992 HC 10
CourtHigh Court (Grenada)
Date11 November 1992
Docket NumberNo. 339 of 1989

High Court

St. Paul, J.

No. 339 of 1989

Coomansingh
and
Bermudez Biscuit Co. Ltd.
Appearances:

Mr. L. L. Noel with Mrs. C. Edwards for plaintiff

Mr. A. C. Taylor for defendant.

Contract - Breach — Damages — Oral agreement to rent premises for retail sales — Agreed period ended — Plaintiff demanded defendant to give up premises — Defendant used premises as a warehouse — Plaintiff claimed he required premises for his own use — Application for order for recovery of possession of premises — Defendant in breach of agreement — Estoppel by convention or mutual assurance now well established — Defendant to deliver up possession of premises — Damages.

St. Paul, J.
1

The plaintiff's claim is for an order against the defendant for the repossession of a portion of the bottom floor of his premises situate on Saint John's Street in the town of Saint George, damages and costs.

2

It is alleged that the premises were let to the defendant at a monthly rent of $600.00 for six (6) months. After six months the rent was increased to $700.00 per month. Notice was given to the defendant to give up possession of the premises but the defendant is still in possession.

3

The plaintiff claims to require the premises for his own use.

4

It is further alleged that the defendant is in breach of contract since the original oral agreement was to use the premises for retail sales only but the defendant now uses the premises as a warehouse.

5

The defendant denies that it is in breach of the agreement as alleged.

6

At the hearing Desmond Munro gave evidence for the plaintiff. At the time of the tenancy agreement in February 1982, Mr. Munro was the export sales manager of the defendant's company which was based in Trinidad. W.E. Julien & Co., a Grenadian firm, was the sole representative of the defendant's company (hereinafter called the defendant). In his evidence Mr. Patrick Clara said he load been working with W.E.Julien & Co. for 39 years and in 1987 he became a director of W.E. Julien & Co (hereinafter called the company). Mr. Clara went on to say,

“I am today representing Juliens & Co., agent for Bermudez Biscuit Co.”

7

It is important here to quote some of the facts in Mr. Clara's evidence. He said:–

“As a representative of the defendant's company and sole agent for the company, we never rented premises from the plaintiff on St. John's Street. Bermudez Biscuit Company rented the premises through Desmond Munro who had authority to make decisions on behalf of Bermudez Biscuit Company.”

8

It is clear therefore that Mr. Munro was the one who contracted with the plaintiff for the use and occupation of the plaintiff's premises on St. John's Street. In his evidence Mr. Munro said:–

“Sometime in 1982 I approached Mr. Coomansingh about his premises on St. John's Street to use as a sales depot for the defendant's company. We were going to use the premises as a retail outlet. The object was to sell by small quantities. I rented the place from Mr. Coomansingh for 6 months for $600 per month. Mr. Coomansingh did not willingly give the place to me. I had to force him into it. He told me he did not want to rent the place as his brothers were coming soon and they did not want to rent the place. I started retailing biscuits in that place. That was the only use I made of it at the time. At that time the defendant's company was warehoused in Tempe. At the end of 6 months I asked the plaintiff for another 6 months to do the same business, to continue retail sales. He agreed. I gave him $100 more rent. We agreed that anytime he needed the premises I will move out. At the end of the second 6 months Mr. Coomansingh asked me for the place.”

9

Clearly the oral agreement between Mr. Munro and the plaintiff was that the plaintiff's premises will be rented for 6 months $600 per month — but after 6 months the premises were rented for a further 6 months at $700 per month. At the end of the second 6 months the plaintiff asked Mr. Munro for the return of the premises but despite that request the defendant is still occupying those premises. Moreover, there appears to be a change of user. The...

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