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C P Haulage V. Middleton Notes

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C & P HAULAGE V. MIDDLETON FACTS The defendant is an automobile engineer and repairer. He had been up to the end of 1978 working from a garage, part of his own home. The local authority, however, objected to this use being made of domestic property, and they gave him the appropriate notice to desist. He thereupon urgently looked round for other accommodation. The plaintiffs in this case, a firm which carried on the business of plant hire, are well known to the defendant, he having done work for them and they having hired machinery to him. Knowing one of the partners, he discussed the terms upon which he might use a yard they had, which had a covered workshop, and which was only used for storage. Eventually they entered, on or about December 15, 1978, into an agreement. This is essentially contained in a document which emanated from the plaintiffs, the material terms of which read: "Before offering you the use of our yard at Winton Approach we would like you to agree to the following: …Any fixtures you put in are left. The defendant moved in and began to use the premises for commercial purposes but not until towards the end of 1978. He had to carry out quite a considerable amount of work to make the premises suitable for his purpose. A wall had to be built enclosing the premises, locks had to be fitted, and electricity had to be laid on. On June 16, 1979, he was still in occupation. The judge concluded
— and again this is not challenged — that the licence was for six months with renewal every six months. It could thus be terminated every six months, and he took the view — and this has not been challenged — that a reasonable notice prior to its termination of one month at lest would have been necessary. Unfortunately there was some misunderstanding or trouble on October 5, 1979, by which time the premises were completed and were being used for the garage work, when the senior partner of the firm had some difficulty in getting oil from a drum which had been moved without his permission. He became very angry, and told the defendant to get out. The locks were changed. The defendant did not take the sensible course of consulting solicitors,

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