West Law Report

JOHNSON v LUXCOOL LTD

Posted in Westlaw Reports by mrkooenglish on August 1, 2008

Queen’s Bench Division HHJ Richard Seymour QC July 15, 2008

Last Updated: 9:02PM BST 30 Jul 2008

Aggravated damages – Bare licences – Damage to goods – Damage to property – Occupation – Trespassers – Occupation of premises amounting to bare licence – Validity of claims for damages – Property damage following eviction from premises – Unreliable evidence

FACTS

The claimant club owner (J) claimed damages, including aggravated or exemplary damages, as a result of damage done to the structures of premises and damage to goods belonging to her following her eviction from the premises by the third defendant property owner (H). J had occupied parts of properties including the rear of two properties previously owned by the first defendant and subsequently transferred to H. J ran a social club from the premises and alleged that her occupation was pursuant to a weekly tenancy. The environmental health department and police evicted J on the basis that H had taken possession of the premises. H later removed the roof. J maintained that goods under the roof that belonged to her had been damaged beyond repair or destroyed. She also stated that she had spent large sums fitting out the structures of the premises before her eviction and so was entitled to compensation for the loss of value of the works or the cost of repairing the structures.

ISSUES

Whether goods under the roof that belonged to her had been damaged beyond repair or destroyed.

HELD (claim struck out)

(1) On the evidence, J had not had any sort of tenancy of any part of the premises, but was simply a trespasser or a bare licensee. Consequently, J’s claims were rejected insofar as they depended on her having a tenancy.

(2) J’s evidence on any disputed matter could not be relied on. There was no clear evidence that damage had been caused to goods allegedly belonging to J as a result of the removal of the roof.

Michael Collard (instructed by AKAL, Ilford) for the claimant. Evan Price (instructed by Johns & Saggar) for the first and third defendants. Marie-Claire Bleasdale (instructed by Bude Nathan Iwanier) for the second defendant.

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