Malzy v Eicholz: CA 1916

A tenant claimed against his landlord seeking to make him responsible for the nuisance of a co-tenant.
Held: The claim failed.
Lord Cozens-Hardy MR said: ‘A lessor is not liable in damages to his lessee under a covenant for quiet enjoyment for a nuisance caused by another of his lessees because he knows that the latter is causing the nuisance and he does not himself take any steps to prevent what is being done. There must be active participation on his part to make him responsible for the nuisance. A common lessor cannot be called upon by one of his tenants to use for the benefit of that tenant all the powers he may have under agreements with other persons.’
A landlord will be liable for breach of a covenant for quiet enjoyment only if the disturbance was by the landlord, his servants or agents.
Lord Cozens-Hardy MR said: ‘It is quite a novel doctrine to me that permission by a lessee to use demised premises for a purpose which may or may not involve or create a nuisance is a wrong act on the part of the landlord, and that the landlord can be rendered liable merely because a person does carry on that business in such a manner as to create a nuisance. It would be different, of course, if it were let for a purpose which necessarily involved a nuisance, but this letting did not necessarily involve a nuisance. That is quite plain from the plaintiff’s own evidence. He says there was no ground for complaint until the Dents came into possession.’


Lord Cozens-Hardy MR


[1916] 2 KB 308, (1916) LJKB 1132, (1916) LT 9, (1916) 32 TLR 506, (1916) 60 Sol Jo 511

Cited by:

CitedCoventry and Others v Lawrence and Another (No 2) SC 23-Jul-2014
Consequential judgment. Mr Coventry had been found liable in the principle judgment in nuisance to the appellant neighbours. The Court was now asked as to several matters arising. First, to what extent were the defendants’ landlords liable to the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Nuisance

Updated: 08 May 2022; Ref: scu.451201