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

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Disrepair: Damp and quantum

Following on from this post on disrepair counterclaims and as a precursor to a substantial post on disrepair quantum to follow very soon(ish), this is a County Court Judgment on an assessment of quantum hearing on 28 March 2014 (there was a default judgment in October 2013).

Clark v Affinity Sutton Homes Ltd. Barnet County Court 4 April 2014.

Mr C was the assured tenant of ASH since 2004. The property was a one bedroom flat with an initial weekly rent of some £66.

There were problems with damp at the property. The expert’s report of May 2013 found:

[a] Leaking within the vicinity of the bathroom

[b] Dampness internally

Read the full post

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Disrepair – counterclaims after possession order.

Here is an interesting prospect* (and a big tug of forelock to Beatrice Prevatt at Garden Court for the initial suggestion).  Can a counterclaim for disrepair be brought after a possession order is made?

Conventionally, we’ve thought that a counterclaim would have to be raised before a possession order, or the complex and fraught option of applying to set aside the possession order would have to be followed, even assuming there was actually any basis for such an application. But there appears to be a solid argument based on Court of Appeal precedent to suggest otherwise.

Rahman v Sterling Credit Ltd [2001] 1 WLR 496 [Read the full post

Posted in assured-tenancy, Disrepair, FLW article, Housing law - All, Possession, secure-tenancy | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Shut that (undemised) door!

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 [2012] 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

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Mind the Step 2 – The bannister that wasn’t

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 [2012] 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

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Shaken and Stirred

Jones & Anor v Ruth & Anor [2011] EWCA Civ 804

We missed this one when it came out in July 2011. Not sure why – sorry. This was an appeal of a claim in nuisance, trespass, harassment and personal injury. The claim arose out of building works on an adjoining property. The appeal is worth looking at on issues of quantification of damages for trespass and the foreseeability of personal injury.

Jones and Lovegrove owned a 3 storey terrace at 105 Lower Thrift Street. Mr & Mrs Ruth owned 103 and 101 Lower Thrift Street, both originally two storey terraces. Between 2002 and 2007, the Rs gutted and rebuilt … Read the full post

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