A recently reported case of a tenant who won damages when he injured his knee tripping on a path outside the block of flats where he lived (on the second floor), has implications for management companies, block management and property managers. In this instance the landlord did not own the path and did not own the block. He owned a flat within the block and the path was the essential means of access to the block.
It has always been assumed that repairing obligations only apply to what the landlord actually rents out to the tenant. This tenant took a disrepair claim under Section 111 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and won his case at The Court of Appeal . So, will this have “serious consequences” for property owners. Steve Nightingale commented, “ It could be argued that any landlord could now be sued for disrepair to areas serving their property, as a result of this case. We certainly will take this into consideration when doing property inspections, although common sense must be applied too.” Does the tenant have an obligation to report disrepair? Apparently not – but without knowing a ‘hazard’ exists, how can it be repaired? Do uneven paving stones which are not in a state of disrepair count? What if the tenant is drunk? Are there implications for insurance?
We think this raises more questions that require further exploration and over the next few weeks will be looking in to this for you. Your comments and/or experiences would be welcome.