Landlords cannot neglect communal areas
Wed 24 Jun 2015
Landlords who own flats may now have to pay more attention to the state of repair of the communal areas and not just the flat that they own. A recent decision by the Court of Appeal in Edwards v Kumarasamy considered a landlord's repairing obligations under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
In this case a tenant of a second floor flat tripped on an uneven paving slab on a path between the front door of the block of flats and the communal bin area. The landlord argued that since he only owned the leasehold of the flat, he had no obligation to repair the path as he did not own it.
The original decision was that the pathway formed part of the structure and exterior and that the landlord's easement over the pathway was enough to constitute an interest. He therefore had an obligation to repair it. This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal.
In practice this means that landlords cannot simply ignore the communal areas of apartment blocks and expect the managment company to deal with repairs. They may also wish to check that any such claim is covered by any insurances which are in place.
January 2015View older stories >
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