Landlord under no duty to repair property until notified of disrepair

by Graeme Bellenger on October 13, 2016

Graeme Bellenger

A landlord is not in breach of his duties to repair a property if the tenant in possession of the property had not informed him of the disrepair. Graeme Bellenger, a partner specialising in landlord and tenant disputes at Kidd Rapinet’s London office said, “This is an important clarification of the rights and duties of landlords and tenants”.

In the case in question, the landlord, who held a long lease of a flat in the block, sublet it to the tenant. The sub tenancy included the right for the tenant to use any communal parts, paths and drives in the block of flats. The tenant alleged that he had been taking rubbish from his flat to the communal dustbins when he tripped on an uneven paving stone on the pathway leading from the main door of the block to the parking area and, as a result, had suffered an injury to his right hand and his right knee.  The tenant was suing the landlord for damages.  The landlord had, however, been unaware of the uneven paving stone before the accident occurred.

The court ruled that the landlord’s liability to repair a property could only start from the point where he was made aware of the problem and that the tenant was the appropriate person to make him aware. As such the landlord was not liable for the tenant’s injuries and the tenant’s suit failed.

If you would like assistance in respect of either landlord or tenancy issues, call Graeme Bellenger at Kidd Rapinet on 020 7265 5467 for further information.