- Leases definitions matter—a covenantor is not a landlord (Sportcity 4 Ltd v Countryside Properties)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- The lease claim
- The Defective Premises Act claim
- The tort/pure economic loss claim
- The result
- Case details
Property analysis: The case provides a clear illustration of the application of established principles of contractual and statutory construction in the context of a complex property transaction. The court construed the leases between the parties according to its plain meaning, rejecting a tortuous approach intended to circumvent the relationship between landlord and developer. It also considered the limitation provisions expressly contained in section 1 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 (DPA 1972), again finding that the plain meaning of the statute could not be avoided. DPA 1972, s 1(5) allows for two or more limitation periods, meaning that a claim targeting defective construction of a building may be time-barred even if later remedial works may be actionable. An argument on pure economic loss was not fully developed but leaves open a number of questions. Written by Joshua Dubin, barrister, at 3PB Barristers.
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