Have you been injured in a rental property?
The general rule, is that a Landlord has no statutory duty to repair a property until notice is given by the tenant.
In the case of Edwards v Kumarasamy the Court of Appeal had to consider this point in relation to a claim by a tenant who was injured when negotiating a pathway outside a rental property, and made a couple of interesting findings.
In the tenancy terms and conditions (or if there aren't terms covering this, by virtue of section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985), a Landlord has an obligation to keep the exterior of a let premises in repair.
In the case in question, the Court of Appeal said:
- The pathway did not form part of the exterior of the building.
- The Landlord is not liable to undertake a repair unless and until he receives notice of disrepair from the Tenant.
The Court took the view that the Tenant had the best means of knowing if disrepair existed and therefore there was an obligation on the Tenant to advise the Landlord if there were any issues with the property.
Landlords and Managing Agents are well advised to ensure that regular and routine inspections of rental properties are undertaken and to consider whether they have appropriate insurance in place in the event of a claim.
Tenants living in a rental property which has potentially dangerous aspects should notify Landlords straight away.
At Samuels Solicitors in Devon, we have years of experience in assisting both Landlords and Tenants in resolving disputes. We will assess any claim for free, so contact us today for a no obligation discussion about how we can help.