Liverpool Mutual Homes v Mensah, County Court at Liverpool. 31 August 2017.
(Thanks to Legal Action Housing Repairs Update May 2019 for this case)
This is perhaps a rather obvious point, but reminders can never hurt.
M was LMH’s tenant. Following a disrepair letter of claim, there was a joint inspection by the parties’ experts. Some defects were agreed by the experts, but the tenant’s expert identified further defects not accepted by the landlord’s expert.
LMH sought access to carry out the agreed works, pursuant to the right of access for repairs under the tenancy agreement (which made warning of injunctions if access refused) and statute. This was repeatedly refused, and M’s solicitors wrote saying access would not be given as the schedule of works did not include the further defects identified by the tenant’s expert.
LMH brought proceedings for an injunction for access.
There was some degree of agreement subsequently on timing of works, but M would not give an undertaking on access, so the hearing went ahead.
The circuit judge did not accept M’s account of attempts to communicate with the landlord, nor that the health of her daughter was a factor in her refusing access. The landlord had been reasonable and only brought injunction proceedings as a last resort. M’s argument that para 6.3 of the Housing Disrepair Pre-Action Protocol referring to the landlord providing a ‘full schedule of works’ meant that all the works should be agreed did not succeed. The protocol at 6.3 expressly contemplated such a situation where the totality of the works were not agreed. The contractual and statutory rights were, in any event, not overridden.