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IMPORTANT DECISION FOR RESIDENTIAL LANDLORDS IN THE SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court today gave its judgment in the case of Edwards v. Kumarasamy [2016] UKSC 40. The claim was a personal injury claim where a tenant had tripped on a paved area outside the block of flats where he lived. The Court rejected the argument that the area formed part of the exterior of the building for the purposes of the implied repairing covenant under Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

The judgment also deals with the question of what notice of disrepair is needed before the landlord is in breach of its repairing covenant. The Court held that Section 11 did not require notice to be given to the landlord in every case. The common law applied. The rule was that the exception that notice is required does not normally apply to premises which are not in the tenant’s possession. However, in the particular circumstances of the case, if the paved area had fallen within the covenant, notice would have been needed.

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