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CCCXII.

HORIZONTAL

LONDON BUILDING ACT, “ CUBICAL CONTENTS."

PARTITION.

(For Replies to this Query, see p. 54.)

Section 74, London Building Act 1894, requires every building to be “ separated either by an external wall or by a party-wall or other proper party structure from the adjoining building,” Section 5, Sub-section 20 defines a party structure as a party-wall and also a partition floor or “ other structure separating vertically or horizontally building, storeys. &c., approached by distinct staircases or entrances from without."

Would it not therefore be right to erect one building over another with fireproof floor between, provided each building so constructed did not exceed the cubical contents allowed a though the complete erection did exceed such cubical contents.

CCCXIII.
LESSEE AND LESSOR--LIABILITY TO MAKE GOOD DEFECTIVE

STONEWORK. (For Replies to this Query, see pp. 54, 55.) A freeholder lets a plot of land on a building lease for 80 years. Some objection is taken as to the kind of stone used, but the drawings were agreed to by the freeholder's surveyor. The lessee inhabited the building for, say, 10 years, and then let the premises. After an occupation of the premises for seven years by the sub-lessee the freeholder calls upon the lessee to repair the stonework, which has fallen into decay. The lessee refers the matter to the sub-lessee, and requests him to carry out the work. The sub-lessee denies his liability to make good the defects in the stonework as they are the result of the action of time and the elements upon stone originally of too soft a nature, and that no doubt existed in great part when the lease was granted to them.

On whom does the liability rest?

CCCXIV.
COVENANT TO REPAIR.

(For Replies to this Query, see p. 55.) A lease contains the following tenant's covenant :

“ To keep the interior of the said dwelling-house and premises together, “ with the fixtures therein as per schedule attached hereto, in good tenant. " able and decorative repair, order, and condition, and so deliver them up • at the termination of the tenancy, fair wear and use alone excepted.”

And the following landlord's covenant : “ That he will keep the outside of the said dwelling-house and premises in good tenantable repair, order, and condition."

Do the words “fair wear and use alone excepted” lessen the obligation to repair, or only apply to any defects which may arise after the repairs have from time to time been attended to, and the delivery up of the premises ?

CCCXV.
SEWER EASEMENTS.

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(For Replies to this Query, see pp. 56, 57.) Owner “A” of a terrace of houses draining into a common “sewer just outside a municipal boundary, and within a " Rural District Council's" authority, sold off a brickfield adjoining these houses to “C," inserting in the title deeds Covenant “B” as to the outfall of this sewer, which for some years has been emptying itself into an upper pond in this brickfield. “C” desirous of making use of this land and anxious to abate the nuisance of an open cesspit, intercepts this sewer and conveys it around the pond into a beck at the further side thereof as per sketch hereunder :

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XY=Old run of sewer. V to W = including chamber and flushing gate U, are recently constructed. S to T=channel cut from pond to stream by “ A.”

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"A's " definition of easement is as follows (see Appendix D), and he not only threatens an action for injunction against “C” for diverting this drainage as shown, but insists on the right at all times for himself (or whomsoever he may appoin to trespass on “C's” land without any notice whatever, and to cut channels from S to T whenever a heavy rainfall occurs.

Now what is “C's” position in this matter? (I believe him to be acting legally, and have advised the erection of a board with a legal notice against trespass, and his acting accordingly.) Again, can the rural authority be compelled to deal with this “ sewer” as a public sewer, or must they deal with the pond only as a nuisance ?

"B" COVENANT. Subject nevertheless to a right of drainage into the hereditaments conveyed for certain cottages and premises near thereto, situate in Northfield Terrace aforesaid, and the right to discharge sewage from the said cottages and premises into the hereditaments hert by conveyed, as the said rights are at present subsisting. NOTE.- No drains are shown on the deed.

APPENDIX“ D." The term “eas ement” is defined in an ancient work called the Terms de la Loy" as follows :-“An easement is a privilege that one neighbour hath of another by writing or prescription, without profit, as a way or sinkthrough his lands or such like.” An ea sement giving a right to lay pipes, build culverts, drive turnels, and for the purpose of convey. ing water, implies a right of entry at all times for repair or other purposes rendered necessary for its proper enjoyment. And further, the person to whom the easement is granted may prevent the owner of the land from doing anything to interfere with such a right, as, for instance, building houses or planting trees over the line of ease ment, or otherwise placing any obstruction to the full and į roper enjoyment of the jurchaser thereof.

CCCXVI.
MAKING UP ROAD_TENANT'S LIABILITY.

(For Replies to this Query, see p. 58.) A tenant of a house in the suburbs of London who has held it upon lease, but now from year to year upon the terms of the lease, was served with a notice by the authorities as to the road and footpath which is being made up and taken over by them. He referred the notice to the owner, who returned it to the tenant, intimating that he (the tenant) was liable under the terms of his tenancy. Under the lease the tenant was liable for all repairs both internal and external.

It does not seem right that the tenant should puy for a permanent improvement holding the house on so short a tenancy. Can be be compelled to do so ?

CCCXVII.

RIGHTS OF WATER.

(For Replies to this Query, see p. 59.) A watercourse (W C) which derives source from a spring (S) flows between the land belonging to X in the first instance, and secondly between the lands of X and Y.

X has constructed a tank at T 1, below spring S, and conveys water therefrom in a one-inch pipe (P 1) to premises on his land, and from it draws water through a tap as occasion may require for domestic and other necessary purposes.

X, for similar reasons, bas further constructed a tank at T 2, and conveys water in a one-inch pipe (P 2). The water to tank T 2 is supplied by draining a bog (B) thereinto ; said bog having previously been drained by X or his predecessors for 30 years, by underground drains, into watercourse (WC).

Y complains that in consequence of X (1) drawing water as aforesaid from T 1, and (2) drawing water from T 2, as described, instead of allowing, as formerly, the bog to drain, or before drainage to filter into the watercourse W C, he is deprived of water.

The public have lodged no complaint as to the scarcity of water at W, w ich is a public watering place, nor is there any evidence that X uses the water for other than domestic and necessary purposes, as and when required.

The watercourse is dry only opposite Y's land in unusually dry seasons, but prior to the construction of the tanks eight years ago he had no cause to complain of scarcity of water.

Has Y any ground of action against X to restrain him from drawing water in the manner above described ?

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CCCXVIII.

AGRICULTURAL HOLDINGS ACT 1883–CLAIM FOR REPAIRS, &C., AND

COUNTERCLAIM FOR FOUL LAND.

A tenant, holding under an agreement, has served a notice of claim, under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1883, upon his landlord, who had alr eady given notice of a claim for foul land given up under the agreement to the incoming tenant on the 1st of January last, for the root laid.

First, is it necessary to again give a notice, and claim under the procedure of the Act?

Secondly, a claim will arise under the covenants of the agreement for repairs and dilapidations to the buildings and fences on the farın. Must this form part of the landlord's counterclaim under the Act, or can a claim be made by the landlord under the covenants of the agreement, and a different referee appointed other than the one appointed to go into the claims under the Act ?

REPLIES.*

Reply to Query CCLXIX. (Vol. VII., p. 435.)

ASSESSMENT OF LAND-DEDUCTION FROM GROSS VALUE.

Land in its natural, or prairie, state would scarcely have any annual statutory value, (i.l., gross annual value from year to year, taking one year with another). To cause it to have such a value various works would be required, such as roads, hedges, fences, gates, ditches, and covered drains. When these are made and the land put into a condition to command an annual rent ("gross value "), these works must be kept in repair, and from time to time renewed so that the land may be maintained in a state to command the rent. 'l'he deduction from “gross value to "rateable value is the average annual cost of such repairs and renewals, which average cost will vary according to circumstances. In the metropolitan area the deduction for land without buildings, whatever it may be estimated to be, must not exceed one-twentieth part of the “ gross value.” Outside the metropolitan area there is no statutory limit to the deduction, but, excluding exceptional cases, one-twentieth, or five per cent. is a very usual subtraction.

ARTHUR HARSTON, Fellow.

* Replies must, in all cases, be authenticated by the full name of the Member supplyirg

the information asked for.

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