All individuals and organisations involved in a construction contract owe a duty of care in respect of the work that they carry out. Any property owner or tenant that finds a defect that renders a property unfit for habitation can make a claim under the Defective Premises Act 1972. Tenants can also make a claim against their landlord if their pleas to fix the issues have gone unanswered and unresolved.
Our civil litigation solicitors here at Van Eaton in Streatham have years of experience in dealing with commercial property and construction disputes in London and the surrounding areas. Section three applies to anyone who carries out the construction, maintenance, or repair of a property; whereas section 4 places the duty of care upon landlords. If you feel you need to make a claim but aren’t sure where to look, read our latest article below.
S3 Defective Premises Act 1972
Anyone who has constructed, maintained, repaired, or demolished a property has a duty of care, including landlords, surveyors, and builders. This duty is owed to anyone who may be affected by the defect, such as tenants and homeowners. If you wish to take legal action against a construction defect.
How Long Do You Have to Bring a Claim?
Any claimant has six years from when the building is completed in which to bring a claim. If remedial work has been carried out by the original parties involved in the construction or conversion of the building to try and fix the defects that are unsuccessful, then the six years begins to run from the date that the remedial work was completed – see Alderson v Beetham.
In a claim for breach of contract, the six-year period runs from the date of the breach. In a claim for negligence, it runs from the date the damage is suffered. There is potentially therefore a longer period under the Act in which to bring a claim.
Here at Van Eaton Solicitors in Streatham; we will gather all the necessary evidence needed to make your case as airtight as possible. We always strive to keep your case out of court, implementing alternative dispute resolution to handle all cases as efficiently as possible. You can read our previous article concerning what happens when building regulations are not complied with here.
Section 4 Defective Premises Act 1972
S4 Defective Premises Act states that a landlord who has an express obligation to maintain or repair a property has a duty of care to anybody who could be ‘reasonably affected’ by the defect. This applies to the tenant, the members of the tenant’s household, and any visitors to the properties.
If the landlord is aware of the defect, whether the tenant has informed them or not; then the landlord may be liable. For instance, if they carry out routine checks to comply with section 4; then there is reason to believe they should have, in undertaking such checks become aware of the defect.
When is a Landlord Protected?
Whether a landlord is protected or not can depend on the nature of the case. If the property is a new-build, blame may land with the builders or contractors. Landlords should carry out routine checks on their properties. However, if a defect was found by the tenant shortly after occupation and the landlord was not informed; they may not be liable under the Act. If you are unsure about where the blame lies, we are here to assist.
With years of experience in dealing with construction disputes in London, we can help you assess the merits of your claim and get you the best outcome as efficiently as possible, easing your stress. If you would like more information on how we can help you, please get in touch with us today by filling out our online form. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 0208 769 6739.