This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
A lease of land ordinarily states either the periods with reference to which the installments of rent are to be computed, as by providing for a "weekly," "monthly," "quarterly' or "annual" rent, or it specifies the exact days on which rent is to be paid. In the latter case the question as to the time for payment of the successive installments of rent is merely one of construction of the language used. In the former case the rent for the particular period named, whether it be a week, a month, a quarter, or a year, does not become due until the end of such period,76 in the absence of a stipulation,77 or, it seems, a custom,78 to the contrary, the theory being that, since rent is a part of the profits of the land, it is not payable until it has been earned by the tenant's enjoyment of the premises. In determining what is the last day of the rent period, whether a year, a quarter, a month, or a week, for this purpose, the same method of computation is employed, it seems, as in determining the length of the term,79 that is, the last day of each period, on which day the rent becomes due, is not that corresponding to the first day, but the day previous thereto. For instance, if the term begins on the second day of January, and rent is in terms payable monthly, it becomes due on the first and not the second day of each of the following months, and if payable yearly, it becomes due on the. first day of each of the following years.80
Butt's Case, 7 Coke, 23a; 1 Woer-ner, Administration, Sec. 297.
71. Cobb v. Biddle, 14 Pa. St. 444; In re White's Estate, 167 Pa. St. 206, 31 Atl. 569. As to the particular mode of descent of a rent charge created by the reservation of a rent on a grant in fee, see Co. Litt. 12b, 3 Preston, Abstracts, 54; Van Rensselaer v. Hays, 19 N. Y. 68.
72. 1 Woerner, Administration, Sec. 300; Sacheverell v. Froggatt, 2 Saund, 367a, notes; Dixon v. Nic-colls, 39 111. 372, 89 Am. Dec. 312; Rubottom v. Morrow, 24 Ind. 202,
87 Am. Dec. 324; Stinson v. Stin-son, 38 Me. 593. Towle v. Swasey, 106 Mass. 100; Woodburn's Estate, 138 Pa. St. 606, 21 Am. St. Rep. 932, 21 Atl. 16; Huff v. Latimer, 33 S. C. 253, 11 S. E. 758.
73. See ante, Sec. 407, note 53.
74. Knolle's Case, Dyer, 5b; Williams, Executors (9th Ed.) 727.
75. 1 Woerner, Administration, Sec. 300; Mills v. Merryman, 49 Me. 65; Haslage v. Krugh, 25 Pa. St. 97. Bealey v. Blake's Adm'r, 70 Mo. App. 229; Ball v. First Nat. Bank of Covington, 80 Ky. 501.
Not infrequently there is an express provision for the payment of the rent, not at the end of the period
76. Coomber v. Howard. 1 C, B. 440; Parker v. Gortatowsky, 129 Ga. 623, 59 S. E, 286; Castle-man v. Du Val, 89 Md. 657, 43 Atl. 821; Hilsendegen v. Scheich, 55 Mich. 468, 21 N. W. 894; Kistler v. Mcbride, 65 N. J. L. 553, 48 Atl. 558. Ridgley v. Stillwell, 27 Mo. 128; Holt v. Nixon, 73 C. C. A. 268, 141 Fed. 952.
77. Menough's Appeal, 5 Watts & S. (Pa.) 432; Hilsendegen v. Scheich, 55 Mich. 468, 21 N. W. 894; Gibbs v. Ross, 2 Head. (Tenn.) 437.
78. Tignor v. Bradley, 32 Ark. 781; Mcfarlane v. Williams, 107 111. 33; Watson v. Penn, 108 End. 21, 58 Am. Rep. 262, 8 N. E. 636; Calhoun v. Atchison, 4 Bush. (Ky.) 261, 96 Am. Dec. 299; Buckley v. Taylor, 2 Term. Rep. 600.
79. 1 Tiffany, Landlord & Ten. P. 63.
80. So if the term begins January 10th, and the rent is payable quarterly, the rent falls due on April 9th, July 9th, October 9th, and January 9th, and not on the tenth day of each of these during which it is earned, but at the commencement of such period, that is, the rent is made payable "in advance," as it is usually expressed.
- Time of day for payment. Rent may be paid at any hour of the day on which it becomes due,81 but there is no obligation to pay it until midnight of that day, and the tenant is consequently not in default until the next day.82 Applying this doctrine, it has been held that if the landlord, by his action, the tenancy being at will, terminates the tenancy during the day on which the rent is payable, the tenant is relieved from liability,83 and that an eviction on that day under paramount title has a like effect.84 On the same theory it has been decided that if a tenant in fee simple, after making a lease, dies on the rent day, the installment of rent falling due on that day belongs, not to his personal representative, but to bis heir or devisee, as having become due after his death,85 And it seems that, in case the reversion is transferred on that day, the transferee is entitled to the installment then falling due.86 The English courts refused, however, to apply such a theory in the case of a life tenant who, after leasing, not under a power, died on a rent day, and they regarded the rent in such a case as belonging to the personal representative of the life tenant,87 being moved, presumably, to this determination, by the fact months. Donaldson v. Smith, 1 Ashm. (Pa.) 197.
81. Clun's Case, 10 Co. Rep. 127b; Dibble v. Bowater, 2 El. & Bl. 564; Comyn, Landlord & Tenant, 219.
82. Duppa v. Mayo, 1 Wms. Saund. 287 and note (17); Cutting v .Derby, 2 W. Bl. 1077. Left-ley v. Mills, 4 Term Rep. 170; Wolf v. Rauck, 150 Iowa, 87, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 386, 129 N. W. 319; Sherlock v Thayer, 4 Mich. 355, 66 Am. Dec. 539.
83. Hammond v. Thompson, 168 Mass. 531, 47 N. E. 137.
84. Smith v. Shepard, 15 Pick. (Mass.) 147, 25 Am. Dec. 432.
85. Duppa v. Mayo, 1 Wms. Saund. 287; Rockingham v. Pen-rice, 1 P. Wms. 177.
86. See Hammond v. Thompson, 168 Mass. 531, 47 X. E. 137.
87. Rockingham v. Penrice, 1 P. Wms. 177; Southern v. Bellasis, 1 P. Wms. 179, note. Strafford v. Wentworth, Prec. Ch. 555.
That otherwise the tenant under the lease would have escaped liability for the entire rent period.88
- Acceleration of rent. Occasionally the lease provides that the rent for the whole term shall immediately become payable upon a named contingency, as for instance, upon the insolvency or bankruptcy of the tenant,88a the removal of his personal property from the premises,88b or his failure to pay an installment of rent when due.88c Occasionally the courts appear to have applied the doctrine of "anticipatory breach," which has been the subject of considerable discussion in connection with the law of contracts,88d to a case in which the liability for rent was repudiated, this being regarded as immediately giving the landlord a right of action against the tenant for damages, estimated on the theory that the latter would make no further payments of rent as stipulated.88e will,95 or for breach of a condition subsequent.96 By force of this rule, at common law, if a tenant for his own or another's life makes a lease for years, and the lease comes to an end by reason of his death or that of the cestui que vie, the lessee entirely escapes liability for the installment of rent next falling due.97 The lessor or his executor cannot recover the whole installment, since the life interest has ceased before the installment falls due, and he cannot, under the rule against apportionment, recover a portion calculated up to the time of the cessation of his interest. Nor can the remainderman recover any portion of the rent, since the lease by which the rent was reserved is no longer operative, and also because he is a stranger to the lease.
Rent day Conversely, one who has been the owner of the reversion or rent during a part of that period can claim no portion of the installment unless he is such owner at the time at which the installment is payable by the terms of the lease. The general rule in this regard is ordinarily expressed by the statement that rent cannot be apportioned as to time.