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Hire-Purchase Act 1964

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

17Recovery of possession of goods after death of hirer

(1)The provisions of this section shall have effect where goods have been let under a hire-purchase agreement to which the principal Act applies, and at any time after the death of a person who, immediately before his death, was the hirer in relation to that agreement (in this section referred to as " the deceased hirer ") the following circumstances exist, that is to say.—

(a)the goods have not been delivered to the owner, and a person (in this section referred to as " the person in possession ") who is neither the owner of the goods nor a personal representative of the deceased hirer is in possession of the goods ;

(b)no order for the specific delivery of the goods or of any part of them has been made against the deceased hirer under paragraph (a) or paragraph (c) of section 12(4) of the principal Act or under section 13(4)(c) of that Act;

(c)if an order for the specific delivery of the goods has been made against the deceased hirer under section 12(4)(b) of the principal Act, the postponement of the operation of the order has not been revoked by the court; and

(d)no order under section 12(4) or section 13(4)(c) of the principal Act has (whether in pursuance of this section or otherwise) been made in respect of the goods against any person since the death of the deceased hirer.

(2)In relation to any time when those circumstances exist, subsection (1) of section 11 of the principal Act (which prevents an owner, after one-third of the hire-purchase price has been paid or tendered, from recovering possession of the goods from the hirer except by an action) shall have effect (subject to subsection (3) of that section) as if the reference to recovering the goods from the hirer included a reference to recovering them from the person in possession.

(3)Any reference in the principal Act to contravention of section 11 of that Act, or of subsection (1) of that section, shall include a reference to contravention of that subsection as applied by the last preceding subsection; and, if the owner recovers possession of the goods in contravention of that subsection as so applied, a personal representative of the deceased hirer shall (without prejudice to any other right exercisable by him as the hirer in relation to the hire-purchase agreement) be entitled to recover from the owner, in an action for money had and received, all such sums as are mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of that section.

(4)In section 12(1) of the principal Act, and in the following provisions of this Part of this Act.—

(a)any reference to a case to which section 11 of that Act applies shall include a case to which section 11(1) of that Act applies by virtue of subsection (2) of this section, and

(b)in relation to a case to which section 11(1) of that Act so applies; any reference to an action to enforce a right to recover possession of goods from the hirer shall include a reference to an action to enforce a right to recover possession of the goods from the person in possession;

and, in relation to any action to enforce a right to recover possession of the goods from the person in possession, section 10 of the principal Act shall apply as if any reference in that section to the hirer were a reference to the person in possession.

(5)In any action to which section 12(1) of the principal Act applies by virtue of subsection (4) of this section, the court (without prejudice to any other power exercisable by the court) may—

(a)on the application of any party to the action, adjourn the action to enable a grant of probate or letters of administration to be obtained, and, if such a grant is obtained by a person who is not a party to the action, to enable that person to be made a party thereto, or

(b)on the application of any person who is not a party to the action, but who satisfies the court that he is a personal representative of the deceased hirer, or that he intends to apply for letters of administration in respect of his estate, adjourn the action to enable that person to be made a parity to the action, and, if he has not obtained a grant of probate or letters of administration, to enable him to obtain such a grant.

(6)Section 12(5) of the principal Act (which prevents a postponed order for the specific delivery of goods from being made unless they are in the possession or control of the hirer) shall not apply to an action to enforce a right to recover possession of the goods from the person in possession.

(7)Where the circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section exist, in a case where an order for the specific delivery of the goods has been made under section 12(4)(b) of the principal Act in an action against the deceased hirer, then,

notwithstanding anything in subsection (2) of this section, any right of the owner to recover possession of the goods from the person in possession shall be enforceable in that action (and not in an action against that person) and shall be so enforceable by an application for the issue of a warrant of delivery; and the court may adjourn any such application in the like circumstances, and for the like purposes, as in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (5) of this section the court could adjourn an action.

(8)If, at any time when section 11(1) of the principal Act has effect in accordance with subsection (2) of this section, the person in possession refuses to give up possession of the goods to the owner, the person in possession shall not, by reason only of the refusal, be liable to the owner for conversion of the goods.

(9)The preceding provisions of this section shall have effect in relation to sections 11(1) and 12(1) of the principal Act as modified by section 15 of that Act (which relates to successive hire-purchase agreements between the same parties) as those provisions have effect in relation to the said sections 11(1) and 12(1) apart from the said section 15.

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