If you are the owner or tenant of a property that you believe has a defect which you are concerned about, you may be entitled to make a claim under the Defective Premises Act 1972. As a landlord, it is important that you check the property regularly to ensure that there are no defects, that render the property unfit for habitation are present. It’s important to know who potentially could make a claim and who conversely, is liable.
Here at Van Eaton, our civil litigation solicitors have had decades of experience in dealing with construction disputes involving property defects. We aim to provide effective dispute resolution between landlords and tenants. If you are a landlord who faces legal action concerning the Defective Premises Act, please read our article below to see how we can help you.
Duty of a Landlord
According to the Defective Premises Act 1972, a landlord has a reasonable duty of care to their tenants to ensure that they are free from harm in the property caused by a defect. During the construction project of the property, defects may be caused by the overall construction. Others may develop afterward, but the landlord should always ensure their tenants’ safety, no matter the cause of the defect. There are two scenarios in which the duty applies.
If, under the terms of the lease, the landlord is required to make and maintain repairs. This includes leases where, even if the tenant is required to make internal repairs, they must still repair any external or shared areas of the building.
If, under the terms of the lease, the landlord has the right to enter the property to make repairs. This right of entry applies under most commercial leases and therefore affects most commercial landlords.
Here at Van Eaton solicitors, we can deal with a range of disputes involving construction law in London and the surrounding areas. Whether you are faced with a commercial property dispute or a construction defect, we can help you gather the evidence you need to make a claim and get the result you need as efficiently as possible. You can read our previous article on the 1972 Act here.
If a property is not fit for habitation, the landlord must act to ensure the safety of their tenants. However, if the defect is caused by a flaw in the design, the landlord must simply repair it, and cannot be blamed for it arising. Defects must arise during the tenancy, including where the tenancy has come to an end, but they are still residing in the property.
If a landlord is notified of the defect but chooses not to act, they are liable, and a claim can be made against them. This notice can be made either through regular inspection or by a tenant informing the landlord. If a landlord has many properties, they may find it too time-consuming to routinely check their properties. This argument may not stand up in court, however. To fully prepare yourself for any kind of legal process, the landlord must perform checks.
How Can We Help
Here at Van Eaton Solicitors in Streatham, we can act on behalf of either the defendant or the claimant in a defective premises dispute, ensuring that you are aware of your rights within the Defective Premises Act. We can help you gather evidence to build your case, and we will always aim to settle cases using alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. If your case does end up in court, we will support you every step of the way. We will ensure that your claim is handled professionally and efficiently.
If you wish to book a consultation, or you require more information, please get in touch with us today by filling out our online form.