Courtesy of Beatrice Prevatt’s disrepair update in the December 2012 Legal Action, here are a couple of County Court disrepair cases. Both proving the general rule which we have previously noted, that it is only the least competent of private landlords that let disrepair claims get to trial these days.
Woolf v North London Homes Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court 19 April 2012
Ms W was the assured shorthold tenant of NLH. She had a two bedroom attic flat from 28 November 2008. She left in January 2011. There was disrepair complained of from the start of the tenancy, including a leak to the bath, a leaking toilet, a burst … Read the full post
For long leases, outside the provisions of s.11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the repairing obligation of the landlord is limited to the exact terms set out in the lease, as is the extent to which the landlord can recover the costs of repairs from the leaseholder. As anyone who has dealt with repairs on housing association shared ownership schemes where the housing association is itself a lessee of part of the building will know, this can be an utter nightmare, where the immediate landlord can seem to escape any repairing obligations whatsoever. But what if the lease terms themselves contain an apparent error?
In Lucie Marie-Antoinette Campbell v Daejan Properties Ltd… Read the full post
Does the landlord’s repairing duty under Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 extend to damage by fire, flood or tempest?
LB Hammersmith and Fulham v Carty is a County Court judgment reported on Hardwicke Chamber’s site which raises some interesting issues on the interpretation of Section 11(2)(b) of LTA 1985. This provides:
(2) The covenant implied by subsection (1) (“the lessor’s repairing covenant”) shall not be construed as requiring the lessor—
(b) to rebuild or reinstate the premises in the case of destruction or damage by fire, or by tempest, flood or other inevitable accident, or
Ms C was a secure tenant of H&F (whose … Read the full post
Or Simmons v Castle round two
Simmons v Castle  EWCA Civ 1288
As you may know, the original Court of Appeal decision in Simmons v Castle on the 10% uplift in general damages (our report here) was revisited after representations by the ABI and APIL.
I’m not sure that the revised judgment has made things any more workable, but it has clarified some issues relevant to housing.
First, general damages for “four types of damage in relation to both tort and contract cases, namely “pain and suffering and loss of amenity”., “physical inconvenience and discomfort”, “social discredit”, and “mental distress”” are are to be given the 10% uplift. … Read the full post
Is the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 still relevant in a landlord & tenant relationship, or not?
Jasmine Alexander v (1) Freshwater Properties Limited (2) Christopher Place  EWCA Civ 1048
This was an appeal, decided within a few days of Drysdale v Fletcher in the High Court, but appearing to reach quite different conclusions on the applicability of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. I’ll give my view on the apparent differences at the end.
Ms Alexander was the occupier (whether tenant or leaseholder is not clear) of a flat in a block. Freshwater Properties was the landlord of the block and Christopher Place was a building contractor hired by Freshwater.… Read the full post
This is the second of two recent cases on Defective Premises Act 1972 and stairs (for the first see here). There is now a third case on Occupiers Liability Act 1957 with our note to come shortly.
Patrick Joseph Hannon v Hillingdon Homes Limited  EWHC 1437 (QB)
Mr Hannon was a heating engineer, carrying out work at a house owned by Hillingdon Homes. The company Mr H worked for had a long term contract with Hillingdon Homes, which is the corporate vehicle through which LB Hillingdon manages its housing stock. Mr H was ordered to attend the property to power flush the heating system as a matter of … Read the full post
What constitutes a defect or a lack of repair for the landlord to be liable for tenant’s injury?
This the first of a couple of cases involving liability under sections 2 Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 and stairs, or rather in relation to the falling off of stairs
Gillian Drysdale v Joanne Hedges (2012) QBD 27/07/2012 [On Lawtel, not on Bailii yet]
Ms Drysdale was the tenant of Ms Hedges. The property was a mid terrace Victorian house on 3 levels (basement, ground and first). There were 3 steps up to the front door, without a handrail before the relevant date. There was … Read the full post