Anderson v Oppenheimer: CA 1880

The defendant owned a house in the City of London with different floors let to tenants. In the lease of the ground floor, he covenanted to allow the tenant ‘peaceably hold and enjoy the demised premises during the term without any interruption by the defendant’. Water was supplied through pipes from a cistern. A pipe leaked, letting water into the plaintiff’s basement premises, damaging his goods. No negligence was found.
Held: There was no breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment. The water had been stored for the benefit of the plaintiff as much as for anyone else, and so a Rylands -v- Fletcher claim was not available. Although the escape of water was a consequence of the maintenance of the cistern and water supply by the landlord, it was not a breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment. It did not constitute an act or omission by the landlord or anyone lawfully claiming through him after the lease had been granted. The water system was there when the tenant took his lease and he had to take the building as he found it.


[1880] 5 QBD 602, [1880] 49 LJQB 708


CitedRylands v Fletcher HL 1868
The defendant had constructed a reservoir to supply water to his mill. Water escaped into nearby disused mineshafts, and in turn flooded the plaintiff’s mine. The defendant appealed a finding that he was liable in damages.
Held: The defendant . .

Cited by:

CitedTransco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council HL 19-Nov-2003
Rylands does not apply to Statutory Works
The claimant laid a large gas main through an embankment. A large water supply pipe nearby broke, and very substantial volumes of water escaped, causing the embankment to slip, and the gas main to fracture.
Held: The rule in Rylands v Fletcher . .
CitedSouthwark London Borough Council v Mills/Tanner; Baxter v Camden London Borough Council HL 21-Oct-1999
Tenants of council flats with ineffective sound insulation argued that the landlord council was in breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment in their tenancy agreements.
Held: A landlord’s duty to allow quiet enjoyment does not extend to a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Nuisance, Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.188021