Home > Merton Priory Homes v Manneh and Hammersmith & Fulham LBC v Carty

Merton Priory Homes v Manneh and Hammersmith & Fulham LBC v Carty

26th September 2012

The experience of most people reading this will be that when a tenant raises a disrepair complaint, usually by way of set-off and counterclaim to a rent possession action, something has to be allowed for such a claim, however modest.

On 11 and 12 July 2012 Andy Lane was acting for the landlords in two cases where county court judgments were given dismissing the disrepair counterclaims in their entirety.

In the first (Merton Priory Homes v Manneh), whilst there was expert evidence of a fault with the boiler thermostat there was no credible evidence of its report prior to that inspection or how long it had been a problem. The following day District Judge Nicholson handed down judgment in Hammersmith & Fulham LBC v Carty and again dismissed the disrepair counterclaim in its entirety. Mrs Carty had moved out of her flat and stopped paying the rent because of smoke damage caused by a fire elsewhere in the block. The main complaint was as to a grille/vent and the judge found this not to be in disrepair and was in any event not within the landlord’s repairing obligations. Having found that there was no need for the tenant to vacate the premises he also accepted the argument that even if he was wrong on all the other issues she could not have suffered discomfort and inconvenience such as to justify damages because she was not there!

Perhaps most interesting (though given other conclusions not crucial) was the Judge’s further rejection of the counterclaim because any damage was as a result of fire and the landlord was, by reason of s11(2) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, therefore not liable (an argument developed by Arthur Moore earlier in the proceedings).

This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of Chambers or by Chambers as a whole.

Contact

Please note that we do not give legal advice on individual cases which may relate to this content other than by way of formal instruction of a member of Hardwicke.  However if you have any other queries about this content please contact:

Sally Wollaston
Sally Wollaston
Business Development and Marketing Director
Menu