Hargroves, Aronson and Co v Hartopp: CA 1905

The tenants of a building of which the defendants were landlords sought damages after a rainwater gutter became stopped up and the defendants failed to clear it out for a few days after receiving notice of the stoppage.
Held: The landlords were in breach of a duty of care to the plaintiffs and were liable for the damage done. If a building owner retains common parts which have to be maintained to protect the safe use of the demised properties, he has an obligation to take reasonable care that the parts he retains are not in such a condition as to cause damage to the tenant or to the premises demised.
Lord Alverstone said: ‘A person who maintains an artificial thing like a gutter used for the very purpose of carrying off the rainwater from the roof in an improper condition after notice may be said, in my opinion to be guilty of an act of commission, and he is, in my opinion, under a duty to take care that as a result of that act no damage happens to the occupants of the house.’
Lord Alverstone
[1905] 1 KB 472
England and Wales
Cited by:
FollowedTennant Radiant Heat Ltd v Warrington Development Corporation 1988
A property comprised a large building let on fully repairing leases of 22 units. The many rain outlets were allowed to become blocked, and water accumulated above one unit before that part of the roof collapsed. The landlord appealed a finding that . .
CitedWestminster (Duke of) and others v Guild CA 30-Mar-1983
The landlord brought an action for non-payment of rent. The tenant sought to set off a failure by the landlord to repair the building of which his flat was part and which failure had caused him loss. The landlord said that it had no express duty to . .
CitedJackson v J H Watson Property Investment Ltd QBD 7-Jan-2008
The tenant claimant held under a 125 year lease of the defendant. A fault in a light well led to water ingress and damage. The fault was in the landlord’s land but not the flat. The tenant alleged a nuisance by the landlords. The landlord replied . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 May 2021; Ref: scu.194604