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Statutory Obligations Relating to Property Condition

Key Points

There are three key statutory provisions which can affect the landlord's responsibility for the physical state of the premises or what happens on them. Firstly, if there is a statutory nuisance or the premises are prejudicial to health, the local authority can serve notice or alternatively an application can be made to the Magistrates Court, e.g. by the tenant, for an order to abate the nuisance. Where the landlord retains control of any part of the premises (e.g. communal areas) the landlord owes a common duty of care to visitors and may be liable if they are injured or die as a result of the landlord's negligence. The Defective Premises Act imposes obligations where a dwelling is provided but more importantly there is civil liability to pay damages on the part of a landlord where a tenant or resident is injured, or dies, as a result of a defect which the landlord is responsible for repairing (or simply has the right to come in and repair). This extends to paying compensation for personal belongings which are destroyed or damaged as a result. This liability arises if the landlord fails to carry out a repair which he was obliged to do or had the right to do where he knew of the defect in question or ought to have known about it. Thus, there can be a liability in negligence even though the landlord did not know of this defect but should have done.


Statutory Nuisance etc.


Application to Magistrates Court

What is Prejudicial to Health?

Emergency Procedure

Occupiers Liability

Retained Premises

Duty of Care

Defective Premises


Undertaking Work

The rest of the guide contains information on:

  • Civil Liability for defects
  • Duty of Care
  • Whether obligations apply where there is a right to enter
  • Examples of liability
  • Cases where there was no liability
  • Defects
  • Licenses
  • Need for damage/injury

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