Q&As

What are a commercial tenant’s remedies where there are no obligations on the landlord in the lease for repair of the structure of the building?

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Published on LexisPSL on 17/10/2016

The following Property Disputes Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What are a commercial tenant’s remedies where there are no obligations on the landlord in the lease for repair of the structure of the building?

What are a commercial tenant’s remedies where there are no obligations on the landlord in the lease for repair of the structure of the building?

In the absence of an express covenant, a landlord gives no warranty that the premises are or will remain physically fit for the use contemplated and is not liable to do any repairs other than those imposed on him by common law or statute. Neither imposes any specific obligations as to fitness on a landlord of business premises towards his tenant purely because of the relationship of landlord and tenant.

See commentary: Other obligations imposed by the courts: Ross: Commercial Leases [339]–[589] which states that:

‘There have, however, been several cases in recent years where the courts have held a landlord of residential premises liable to the tenant outside the express terms of the lease, either in negligence or by implying a term into the lease, and commercial conveyancers and their litigation colleagues need to be aware of them and to consider if they could have any application to business premises.

  1. in Liverpool City Council v Irwin, the House of Lords held that where there was no covenant in the lease to maintain the common parts (in this case, the stairs, lifts and rubbish chutes of a tower block), there should be implied an obligation on the landlord to take reasonable care

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