The trials of the occupants of Hanbury Buildings who had withheld payment of rent concluded at Bow County Court at the end of December 1939. Twenty-six of the tenants appeared as defendants at Bow County Court, where the landlord, Alexander Maclow, was seeking to have the tenants evicted for failure to pay rent. Some of the cases had been heard during late November and early December, for which transcripts appears here: East End News, Tuesday 21 November 1939 and East End News, Tuesday 12 December 1939. A transcript of the conclusion of the proceedings is given below.
The East End News and London Shipping Chronicle
Friday 22 December 1939
POPLAR RENT DISPUTE ENDS
Conclusion of Cases at Bow County Court
The end of the hearing at Bow County Court of cases in connection with the rent strike at Hanbury Buildings, Poplar, was reached last week, when the remaining five cases were dealt with.
The Court was again crowded with interested parties, Father Shaw, Chairman of the Poplar Tenant's Defense League, was present, accompanied by the Rev. H. E. Farrington.
The first case was that of Mr. Lovering of 14 Hanbury Buildings. Possession was asked for on the grounds of unpaid rent.
A defense had been put in that the rent had been overcharged and that the defendant did not owe any rent. He also complained about the state of repair of the flat.
All of the summonses had been taken out to recover possession of the premises occupied by various tenants, and the defense in every case was that the rent had been overcharged, and that repairs had not been carried out.
Decision for Tenant
When the hearing was resumed last week, the first case taken was that of Izatt, of No. 1, Hanbury Buildings. After hearing the evidence, Judge Hughes decided in favour of the defendant, for whom he gave judgment and awarded costs on Scale 'A'.
The cases of Sverton, at 28, and Dowling, at 29, were agreed to and judgment was entered for the defendants, with costs of £3.
The only cases then remaining were those of Docherty, at No. 31, and the same Dockerty, at No. 34. In these cases there had been proceedings before the rent strike cases came into court, and it was decided that the solicitors should go thoroughly into the figures and arrive at a settlement. This would be formally filed in the court.
At the conclusion of the proceedings, Mr. Sedley (who appeared for the tenants) said he wished to thank the Judge for the patience he had displayed in hearing the numerous cases in connection with the dispute.
Mr. Duthie (for the landlord) said he wished to be associated with the expression of thanks to the Judge.
Judge Moelyn Hughes, in replying, thanked the solicitors for their expression of good wishes, and thanked Mr. Duthie for the way the case had been put before the court.
He thought the thanks of the Poplar Tenants' Defense League and the tenants themselves would be extended to Mr. Sedley for the able way he had defended these actions.