TENANCY – HOW TO CLAIM DOUBLE RENT FROM A TENANT HOLDING OVER

The issue of claiming double rent often arises when a tenant remains in the property after the expiration of the tenancy. How can a landlord claim for double rent?

Introduction

In Malaysia, a landlord can charge double rent if the tenant remains on the premises after the expiry of their tenancy without the landlord’s permission.

The legal basis of double rent is set out in Section 28(4)(a) of the Civil Law Act 1956 (“CLA 1956”)

(4) (a) Every tenant holding over after the determination of his tenancy shall be chargeable, at the option of his landlord, with double the amount of his rent until possession is given up by him or with double the value during the period of detention of the land or premises so detained, whether notice to that effect has been given or not.

(b) Paragraph (a) shall have effect in Sabah subject to section 26 of the Rent Control (Business Premises) Enactment 1965 [En. 1/66], of Sabah and in Sarawak subject to section 19 of the Rent Control Ordinance of Sarawak [Cap. 86].

A tenant is liable to pay double rent under the following conditions:

  1. The landlord decides to charge double rent;
  2. The landlord does not consent to the tenant holding over;
  3. The landlord has asked the tenant to vacate the premises but the tenant refused to do so; and
  4. The tenant does not have a reasonable excuse for holding over.
  5. However, the right to claim double rent or double value under s 28(4)(a) of the Civil Law Act 1956 is not mandatory, but optional, and therefore the landlord had to state its intention to exercise the option in its statement of claim.

Case Referred: Sebumi Magnetik Sdn Bhd v Twinsky Seafood Restaurant (Complex Asia City) Sdn Bhd and another appeal [2023] 5 MLJ 813

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