Q&As

If a council property is fire damaged after a tenant serves notice that they would like to buy it, can the process continue and does this impact on the statutory timescales? If so, who is responsible for dealing with the repairs?

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Produced in partnership with Josephine Henderson of Five Paper Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 04/10/2018

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Josephine Henderson of Five Paper Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a council property is fire damaged after a tenant serves notice that they would like to buy it, can the process continue and does this impact on the statutory timescales? If so, who is responsible for dealing with the repairs?
  • The RTB process

Before conveyance of the property, the landlord is likely to have to repair damage to the structure, exterior and some installations and common parts under express or implied covenants in the tenancy under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985). The tenant can enforce these contractual obligations, eg by application for an injunction or order for specific performance (see Practice Note: Housing disrepair for local authority landlords—a practical guide).

The implied term under LTA 1985, s 11 does not apply if the fire is a result of the failure of the tenant to use the premises in a tenant like manner, or if the property is destroyed: there is no implied obligation to rebuild or reinstate the home after fire.

But in most council tenancies there are express repairing obligations in the tenancy and these are usually held to extend to repairing fire damage not caused by the tenant. If the property is destroyed, the tenancy may be frustrated or there may simply be

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