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Air Raid Damage and Duties of Owner and Hirer.
The legal situation created by the damage or de.struction by air raid of goods being bought on the hire-purchase system is an interesting one.
Mr. William H. Russell, solicitor, the author of The HirePurchase System," states that the wording of each agreement will generally determine the rights of the parties to a considerable extent. But the provisions of hire-purchase agreements vary Considerably.. The general rights and liabilities of owners and hirers are summarized by Mr. Russell as follow :— 1. Where there is no express unaertaking to repair or replace, and the goods are totally destroyed, neither party is under any liability to the other, except that the hirer must pay up any arrears of hire-rent due before the date of the destruction.
2. If neither party has undertaken to repair, and the goods, though damaged, are capable a being repaired, the repairs must he effected by the owner.
3. If the owner has expressly or impliedly guaranteed that the goods shall continue to exist during the whole term of hiring, he must repair or replace, according to the dr. cumstances. 4. If the hirer has agreed to he liable for all loss or damage from whatever cause arising, he must repair, replace, or compensate the owner. 5. Where neither party has expressly or impliedly guaranteed that the goods shall continue to exist, nor undertaken to be liable for all loss or damage, although one party may have agreed to repair, or the hirer may have undertaken to return the goods at the end of the hiring if not purchased, then, if the goods are totally destroyed, each party is released from liability to the other (except that the hirer must pay up arrears of hire-rent), but, if the goods are repairable, the repairs fall on the party who undertook that ohligatiOn. 6. If the goods are totally destroyed when the provisions of the agreement are as stated in the preceding paragraphs, the net result will be that the owner must bear the less of Isis goods, hut need not replace them; and may retain all payments previously made by the hirer and recover arrears of hire-rent. The hirer must pay up arrears of hire-rent and lose the benefit of payments :srevirmsly made, but he will not have to pay future hire-rent, nor damages for the non-return of the goods which he will not be liable to replace.