Extremely loud and incredibly close

This is about loud and disturbing noises.

I was going to write up Coventry & Ors v Lawrence & Anor [2014] UKSC 13 when it came out in February, given that it made some significant changes to common law nuisance claims. But it was 249 paragraphs and some 68 page long, so though I read it, it went on the ‘to do sometime’ pile. Then along came Coventry & Ors v Lawrence & Anor (No 2) [2014] UKSC 46 on 23 July. And, while that ostensibly dealt with a point on a landlord’s liability in nuisance, it also contained some hugely explosive decisions on costs.

So, this post will be … Read the full post

Fiddler under the roof

Yeung v Potel & Anor [2014] EWCA Civ 481

A Court of Appeal case on the problems with the edges of demises and reserved rights of access, involving, in this case, a land grab above a ceiling and a demand to access the flat above.

Flats 3 and 4 were part of a 4 storey building. Flat 3 lay directly under flat 4. The Claimants/Respondents owned the lease of Flat 4 and the Defendant/Appellant Flat 3.

Problems arose when Dr Y, the Defendant/Appellant, started works in Flat 3.

In November 2008 the defendant commenced major building works in his flat. He did not give notice to the claimants of what

Read the full post

Disrepair: La luta continua!

2013 was a difficult year for claimant disrepair. Changes in legal aid funding have made it all but impossible to pursue a disrepair claim under legal aid alone, as funding is only available for an order to carry out repairs to where there is serious risk to health or well being of the tenant or other occupiers, and not for further repairs or the damages claim (although full funding remains for a counterclaim to a possession claim, which can be brought after the possession order).

For those carrying out disrepair claims under Conditional Fee Agreements, success fees ceased being recoverable from the Defendant, as did ATE premiums, but, despite … Read the full post

Tempest Tossed?

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—
(a) [...]
(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
(c) [...]

Ms C was a secure tenant of H&F (whose … Read the full post

Not smelling of roses

Dobson & Ors v Thames Water Utilities Ltd (No 2) [2011] EWHC 3253 (TCC)

This is very late as a post. My excuse is that the judgment runs to well over 200 pages, it is very complex and, frankly, other stuff happened. This has sat as a part finished draft for ages. But finally here it is.

This is the finale of a long running saga, involving the High Court and Court of Appeal. At issue was Thames Water’s liability for alleged odours and mosquito infestations affecting people living in properties near the Mogden Sewage Treatment Works in Middlesex. As this hearing involves issues of liability and quantum for negligence, … Read the full post

It never rains but it pours

The ECHR has recently delivered its judgement in Kolyadenko v Russia , which (apart from demonstrating the reach of the ECHR jurisdiction to the remote corners of Asia) is a useful case applying principles we would recognise under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher.

The 6 applicants in this case are residents of Vladivostok, who brought proceedings against the Municipal Authority and the Water Company alleging responsibility for damage caused to their homes and belongings in a flood which occurred on 7th August 2001.

The flood started with the release of excess water from the nearby dam following a period of exceptionally heavy rainfall. This excess water travelled through … Read the full post

Pigeons in the flat alas*

Siveter v Wandsworth LBC (2012) CA (Civ Div) 16/02/2012 [Not on Bailii yet, just a Lawtel note]

S was the secure tenant of Wandsworth in a 4th floor flat. She had complained to Wandsworth about pigeons nesting outside her flat, in a cupboard that had an opening into the flat. It was not in dispute that the pigeons had poultry mites. Wandsworth sent pest control who removed the pigeons and disinfect the nest.

However poultry mites remained and moved into the flat for fresh hosts. They multiplied, so that S and her son could no longer remain in the flat as both were being bitten.

S claimed for damages on … Read the full post

Don’t be a newcomer

One of the best known judgment in the English speaking world is Miller v Jackson [1977] QB 966. The start of the judgment of Denning LJ (for it is he) is worth setting out, just to remind you all:

In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last seventy years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short. It has a good club-house for

Read the full post