There is a new case on landlords repairing obligations that you need to know about. Edwards v Kumarasamy.
Mr Edwards was a tenant renting a flat from Mr Kumarasamy. This case is about his claim for compensation when he tripped on an uneven paving slab on the outside path to the parking and communal bins area.
The landlord did not own the block and defended on the basis that (1) he was not liable under the Landlords statutory repairing covenants (s11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985) and (2) that the tenant had not given him notice of the disrepair.
However the Court of Appeal held that
1. As the landlord had a right to use the path under his lease from the freeholder, he had a sufficient 'estate or interest' in the area to satisfy section 11 - and so was liable for the repair
2. The case law regarding the need for a tenant to give notice of repair was in situations where the repaid was within the rented property where the landlord did not have access. Section 11 does not actually require notice and for areas outside the property where the landlord had access, notice is not necessary.
This is a very important case for both landlords and tenants. It means that landlords (and agents when doing inspections) need to monitor the exterior areas of properties to ensure that they are safe and that any necessary repairs are done promptly.
We acknowledge the help of Tessa Shepperson and Landlord Law in the preparation of this article.