Hussain v Mehlman: CC 5 Mar 1992

(County Court) The defendant landlord granted the plaintiff a three year assured shorthold tenancy. He now appealed a finding that he was in breach of an implied covenant to maintain the space heating, and otherwise. The tenant had returned the keys. The court was asked whether the landlord by his breach had committed a repudiatory breach of the lease.
Held: Normal contractual principles can be applied to leases, since a lease is only a contract which creates an interest in land. A lease could be brought to an end by the tenant’s acceptance of a repudiatory breach by the landlord: ‘the defendant’s conduct, in the classic language, evinced an intention not to be bound by the implied covenant to repair. The breach, in my judgment, vitiated the central purpose of the contract of letting. ‘

Mr Assistant Recorder Sedley QC
[1992] 2 EGLR 287, [1992] 32 EG 59, [1992] EW Misc 1
Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 11
England and Wales
No longer bindingTotal Oil Great Britain Ltd v Thompson Garages (Biggin Hill) Ltd CA 1972
The defendants held a lease from the plaintiffs of a garage, the lease containing a solus-site agreement, preventing the defendants from selling any petrol but the plaintiffs’ and requiring the defendants to pay for petrol on delivery. The . .
CitedEdwards v Etherington 1825
The defendant had been the tenant of a house from year to year. He left without notice, saying that the walls were dilapidated to the point of being unsafe. On a Nisi Prius, these facts were held to be an answer to an action by the landlord for use . .
CitedArden v Pullen ExcC 1842
The tenancy contained a repairing covenant but the tenant left the house saying that subsidence had caused it to become flooded.
Held: He remained liable to pay the rent.
Lord Abinger CB said: ‘I am of opinion that, unless there has been . .
CitedCollins v Barrow 1831
The defendant held property under a three-year lease with a covenant to keep the premises in tenantable repair. He abandoned it without notice after nine months. He now defended an action for the subsequent rent, saying that the house had become . .
CitedCocks v Thanet District Council HL 25-Nov-1981
The applicant had been given temporary accomodation under the Act. He sought to enforce the obligation on the respondent to house him permanently by an action in the county court. The authority said the action should have been by judicial review. . .
CitedSmith v Marrable 1843
Premises were let furnished with the tenant paying a weekly rent of eight guineas. The tenant complained that the premises were unfit, being infested with bugs, and left. The landlord sued for his rent.
Held: As an exception to the general . .
CitedBaker v Holtpzapffel 1811
A tenant was obliged to continue paying rent even though the house he rented was burned down through no fault of the landlord. . .
CitedKillick v Roberts CA 1991
The landlord claimed that the tenancy had expired by effluxion of time. The tenant alleged that the tenancy was a protected tenancy and that, since no written notice had been served on him pursuant to Case 13, he was a statutory tenant entitled to . .
CitedHammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk HL 5-Dec-1991
One tenant of two joint tenants of a house left and was granted a new tenancy on condition that the existing one of the house, still occupied by her former partner, was determined. She gave a notice to quit as requested, the council claimed . .
CitedIzon v Gorton 8-May-1839
The tenanted premises had been destroyed by accidental fire. The tenant objected to continuing to pay rent.
Held: The rent was payable.
Tindal CJ said: ‘The cases referred to in the argument, in which the tenant has been allowed to . .
CitedWilson v Lord Finch Hatton CExC 1877
It was said that the premises had previously been occupied by someone with measles and were therefore not fit for human habitation.
Held: A term of fitness for occupation was implied into a lease of furnished premises at its commencement and . .
CitedWalker v Hobbs and Co 1889
The tenant brought an action under section 12 on the term, saying the property was not fit for human habitation.
Held: Lord Coleridge CJ said: ‘It is admitted that the ceilings were in a dangerous condition, and therefore that the rooms were . .
CitedCH Bailey Ltd v Memorial Enterprises Ltd CA 1974
The court considered the construction of a rent review clause in a lease. Lord Denning MR said: ‘So I think these rent review clauses are to be construed according to their natural meaning. The clause in the present case says that the increased . .
CitedNewham London Borough v Patel 1978
Section 189 of the Housing Act, which compels a local authority to serve a repair notice wherever they are satisfied that a house is unfit within the meaning of section 604, unless the house is beyond repair, may result in the lawful service of . .
CitedUnited Scientific Holdings v Burnley Borough Council HL 1978
The House was asked whether a failure by a lessor to keep strictly to the timetable laid down in a rent review clause in a lease necessarily deprived the lessor of the benefit of the rent review.
Held: A stipulation as to time in an option . .
CitedO’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.’ . .
CitedStaves v Leeds City Council CA 4-Oct-1990
Ewbank J said: ‘It has been conceded in this case, as in earlier cases, that the internal plasterwork is part of the structure of the house.’
Lloyd LJ said: ‘Once it was conceded, as it was, that the plaster was part of the structure it follows . .
CitedQuick v Taff Ely Borough Council CA 1986
Because of fungus, mould growth and dampness, the tenant’s council house was virtually unfit for human habitation in the winter when the condensation was at its worst. Section 32(1) of the 1961 Act implied in the tenancy a covenant by the council to . .
CitedWycombe Health Authority v Barnett CA 1982
A student tenant left the property for a few days. Whilst she was away, the pipes froze, cracked, and then burst. The landlord complained that he had neither turned off the water, nor lagged the pipes.
Held: The tenant had no such obligation . .
CitedLiverpool City Council v Irwin HL 31-Mar-1976
The House found it to be an implied term of a tenancy agreement that the lessor was to be responsible for repairing and lighting the common parts of the building of which the premises formed part. In analysing the different types of contract case in . .
CitedHammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk HL 5-Dec-1991
One tenant of two joint tenants of a house left and was granted a new tenancy on condition that the existing one of the house, still occupied by her former partner, was determined. She gave a notice to quit as requested, the council claimed . .
CitedNational Carriers Ltd v Panalpina (Northern) Ltd HL 11-Dec-1980
No Frustration of Lease through loss of access
The tenant’s access to the premises was closed by the local authority because it passed by a derelict and dangerous building. The tenant argued that its tenancy was frustrated.
Held: The lease was not frustrated. The lease had a term of ten . .
CitedCalabar Properties Ltd v Stitcher CA 1983
The landlord had failed in his duty to repair. One tenant’s health suffered because of the damp, and they had to rent other premises.
Held: The landlord has only a reasonable time to effect repairs once he has been given notice of the need for . .
CitedLubren v Lambeth London Borough Council CA 1987
The court gave broad approval of a median figure of andpound;1,000 damages a year to be awarded to a tenant for a five-year deterioration of premises from habitable to ‘appalling’. . .

Cited by:
CitedBroadway Investments Hackney Ltd v Grant CA 20-Dec-2006
The respondent had taken a tenancy of premises from the local authority. The ground floor was for use as a shop, and the first was residential. He had previously taken a licence and had refurbished the premises. The authority sold the freehold to . .
CitedReichman and Another v Beveridge CA 13-Dec-2006
The defendants were tenants of the claimant. They vacated the premises and stopped paying the rent. The claimant sought payment of the arrears of rent. The defendants said that the claimants should have taken steps to reduce their damages by seeking . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 20 January 2022; Ref: scu.245879