Brown v Liverpool Corpn: CA 1969

The premises at issue consisted of a terraced house to which access was obtained from the street through a gate, down some steps and along a two metre path which led to the front door of the house.
Held: The steps were part of the exterior of the dwelling-house for the purpose of section 32(1)(a) of the 1961 Act.
Danckwerts LJ said that, as the steps were ‘the means of access’ to the dwelling-house in question, they were ‘plainly part of the building’.
Salmon LJ, agreeing, thought the case was not ‘by any means free from difficulty, or, indeed, from doubt’ and emphasised that his decision was based ‘on the particular facts of this case’ and not on ‘any general principle of law’.
Sachs LJ said that the case had ’caused [him] no little difficulty’, that he had ‘considerable hesitation’ and that the argument was ‘a very close run thing’; while he accepted that the covenant did not apply to ‘those parts of the demise that are not part of the building itself’, he considered that the issue was ‘one of degree and fact’, and that the judge had been ‘entitled’ to conclude that the steps were within the covenant.


Danckwerts LJ, Salmon LJ, Sachs LJ


[1969] 3 All ER 1345


Housing Act 1961 32


England and Wales

Cited by:

Wrongly decidedEdwards 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.622268