Landlord and tenant implied repairing obligations and the doctrine of waste
Landlord and tenant implied repairing obligations and the doctrine of waste

The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Landlord and tenant implied repairing obligations and the doctrine of waste
  • Landlord's repairing obligations
  • Tenant's repairing obligations
  • Use in a 'tenant-like manner'
  • What is the duty?
  • What if there is an express repairing covenant?
  • Waste
  • Permissive waste
  • Ameliorating waste
  • Equitable waste
  • More...

In the absence of an express covenant to repair in a lease, a landlord or tenant’s liability to repair will be limited, and in respect of landlords will depend on various common law and statutory provisions, and in respect of tenants depends on the doctrine of waste and an implied obligation to use the premises in a tenant-like manner. This Practice Note summarises those duties and provisions including covering what waste is, the different types of waste, what happens if a tenant allows a property to deteriorate and what use in a ‘tenant-like manner’ means.

Landlord's repairing obligations

The landlord will only have repairing obligations to the extent of any express obligations in the tenancy (in respect of which, see Practice Note: What is the appropriate standard of repair?). As such, in the absence of an express landlord covenant there will be no repairing obligation, subject to a few exceptions, including:

  1. an obligation to ensure any retained premises are in such condition as to not cause damage to the tenant

  2. an obligation to ensure demised premises being constructed are completed in a good and workmanlike manner using proper materials so as to be reasonably fit for human habitation

  3. a duty, if the landlord designed or built the premises, to take reasonable care to ensure the building is free from any defect likely to cause injury

  4. where

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