The Court of Appeal has held that a company is not prevented from claiming rent and mesne profits from a leaseholder who had been found to be a trespasser.
In this case, Farrar occupied leasehold property and remained in occupation at the expiry of the lease, resulting in trespass. Leongreen issue trespass proceedings for possession, making no claim for damages and possession was granted using the summary procedure.
Leongreen then issued a fresh claim against Farrar for rent and mesne profits as well as damages for disrepair. Leongreen succeeded at trial but Farrar appealed, arguing that the claim for rent and mesne profits was barred by virtue of the principle of res judicata in respect of the earlier claim, either on the basis that the claim for rent and mesne profits had merged into the earlier judgment, or on the basis that it was an abuse of process to have brought the second claim.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the Farrar’s appeal, holding that, because each individual day on which a person commits a trespass is a distinct cause of action, and because the possession claim required trespass to have been made out only on the day of the order, a decision about any earlier or later period of trespass was not a necessary part of the earlier claim and did not therefore merge into the judgment in that earlier claim.
The Court of Appeal did not consider whether there should be no award of mesne profits in respect of the very day of the order for possession.
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