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 keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house. Section 32(3) provided that, in determining the standard of repair required by the lessor’s repairing covenant, regard is to be had to the age, character and prospective life of the dwelling-house and the locality in which it is situated. The house was built in accordance with the regulations in force and standards accepted at the time it was built.
Held: A landlord of a dwelling-house is obliged by a repairing covenant only to restore the house to its previous good condition. He does not have to make it a better house than it originally was. Dillon LJ said that: ‘disrepair is related to the physical condition of whatever has to be repaired and not questions of lack of amenity or inefficiency.’
Lawton LJ, Dillon LJ, Neill LJ
 QB 809,  3 All ER 321,  EWCA Civ 1, 18 HLR 66,  3 WLR 981, 276 EG 452,  EGLR 50, 84 LGR 498
England and Wales
Cited – Elmcroft Developments Ltd v Tankersley-Sawyer CA 1984
The premises were a part of a late Victorian purpose-built mansion block consisting of 27 flats, including seven basement flats. They formed part of a larger terrace of buildings of a similar character and provided high-class accommodation in a . .
Cited – Ravenseft Properties Ltd v Davstone (Holdings) Ltd QBD 30-Oct-1978
It was a question of degree whether the work carried out on a building was a repair or work that so changed the character of the building as to involve giving back to the landlord a wholly different building to that demised. . .
Cited – Pembery v Lamdin CA 1940
There was an obligation on the landlord to keep the premises in repair in the condition in which they were demised. The premises were ground floor and basement premises which were let for the purpose of providing accommodation for the public for . .
Cited – Wainwright v Leeds City Council CA 1984
The court considered the landlord’s covenant for repair of residential property.
Held: The installation of a damp-course in property which did not previously have one was not a repair: ‘applying the facts of that case to the facts of this . .
Cited – Smedley v Chumley and Hawke Ltd CA 1981
Damage to a recently constructed restaurant built on a concrete raft on piles over a river could be cured only by putting in further piles so that the structure of the walls and roof of the restaurant were stable and safe upon foundations made . .
Cited – Lee v Leeds City Council; Ratcliffe and Others v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council CA 21-Jan-2002
The claimants were tenants who sought damages from their local authority landlords, for failing to remedy defects such as mould, mildew, and condensation in the dwellings let to them. The defects were a result of the design of the building. They . .
Cited – Southwark London Borough Council v Mills/Tanner; Baxter v Camden London Borough Council HL 21-Oct-1999
Tenants of council flats with ineffective sound insulation argued that the landlord council was in breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment in their tenancy agreements.
Held: A landlord’s duty to allow quiet enjoyment does not extend to a . .
Cited – Southwark London Borough Council v McIntosh ChD 2002
The tenant occupied a maisonette under a secure tenancy of the plaintiff. She sought damages for breach of the repairing covenant implied under s11. Questions arose as to whether L should have told her not to dry clothes in a heated cupboard so as . .
Cited – Issa (Suing By her Next Friend and Father Issa) and Issa (Suing By her Next Friend and Father Issa) v Mayor and Burgesses of London Borough of Hackney CA 19-Nov-1996
A Local Authority found guilty of a statutory nuisance is not thereby liable for a civil damages suit. . .
Cited – Department for Transport, Environment and the Regions v Mott Macdonald Ltd and others CA 27-Jul-2006
Claims arose from accidents caused by standing water on roadway surfaces after drains had not been cleared by the defendants over a long period of time. The Department appealed a decision giving it responsibility under a breach of statutory duty . .
Cited – 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 . .
Cited – Post Office v Aquarius CA 2-Jan-1985
The tenant’s covenants included an obligation ‘to keep in good and substantial repair . . the demised premises and every part thereof.’
Held: A repairing covenant does not require a defect in design to be made good. One cannot have an existing . .
Cited – Jackson 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 . .
Cited – McNerny v London Borough of Lambeth CA 1988
The scale of the dampness which had to be endured by a tenant led to constant colds and minor ailments being suffered by the plaintiff and her children who had to live in those unhealthy conditions.
Held: The legislature had ‘conspicuously . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Landlord and Tenant, Housing
Updated: 20 April 2022; Ref: scu.182086