Residential Landlords of Leasehold property beware

PUBLISHED 11.02.15
Do you let your property? Is it a flat? Are you a leaseholder?

In these circumstances you need to ensure you are adequately protected by insurance should your tenant have the misfortune to suffer a personal injury at the property.

Edwards v Kumarasamy [2015] All ER (D) 09 (Feb)

The tenant let a second floor flat on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis from the Leaseholder. The Tenant tripped and fell on an uneven pathway that led from the door to the block of flats to the rubbish bins. The Tenant sued his Landlord for the personal injuries he suffered on the basis that section 11 (1a) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 that the Landlord was liable as they had not kept in good repair the structure and exterior of the premises.

The Court of Appeal decided that the “pathway” could be properly described as the exterior of the front hall, over which the landlord had an easement and therefore was liable for the damages his tenant had suffered. Although the freeholder had limited his liability pursuant to the conditions in his Head Lease with the Leaseholder, the Leaseholder did not have the same protection in his Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement and the 1985 Act made no mention of notice so there was no protection for the Landlord from the main freeholder.

Moral of the story for your buy to let properties – make sure you are adequately protected by way of insurance.

Quality Solicitors Dunn and Baker’s Litigation Department are experienced in drafting and review Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements.

Landlords should contact Kathy Trist in relation to all your tenancies.

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