A landlord became in breach of his duty of repair under his covenant immediately the repairable defect occurred, not after a reasonable time had been given to make the repair. Nourse LJ summarised the earlier authorities: ‘It is now established by a line of authority culminating in the decision of the House of Lords in O’Brien v Robinson  AC 912 that, where a defect occurs in the demised premises themselves, a landlord is in breach of his obligation to keep them in repair only when he has information about the existence of the defect such as would put a reasonable landlord on inquiry as to whether the works of repair to it are needed and he has failed to carry out the necessary works with reasonable expedition thereafter . .’
Times 03-Aug-1995, Gazette 20-Sep-1995, Independent 12-Sep-1995,  Ch 69
England and Wales
Cited – O’Brien v Robinson HL 19-Feb-1973
The plaintiffs sought damages after being injured when the ceiling of their bedroom fell on them. They were tenants of the defendants.
Held: The 1961 Act implied a duty on L to keep in repair the structure. What was meant by ‘keep in repair.’ . .
Cited – Princes House Ltd and Another v Distinctive Clubs Ltd CA 27-Mar-2007
The landlord sought payment of arrears of service charge. The tenants counterclaimed that the landlord had failed to comply with its repairing obligation, and relied on a cap on the service charge in the lease. . .
Cited – Sykes v Harry and Trustee of Estate of Harry, a Bankrupt CA 1-Feb-2001
The tenant appealed dismissal of his claim for damages. He had suffered serious injury after inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from a defective gas fire. The fire had not been maintained and a fall of soot eventually prevented the escape of fumes.
Cited – Edwards v Kumarasamy SC 13-Jul-2016
The claimant sub-tenant had been injured entering the block of apartments. He said that the freeholder was responsible despite no report of the disrepair having been made. The lease excused the landlord from unnotified liability. The parties . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 June 2021; Ref: scu.78645