Basic about disrepair

british landlords associationChin v Hackney LBC [ 99 ] All ER 97 ; ( 99 ) 28 HLR 42 , CA

claim, brought by daughter of tenant who had settled disrepair A tenant brought an action for damages for disrepair in contract (Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 s11) and tort (Defective Premises Act 1972 s4).

In October 1992 the claim was compromised on terms that the council would carry out agreed works and pay damages of £15,000.

The tenant’s disabled daughter (acting by her next friend) then issued new proceedings against the council for damages for personal injury caused to her by the conditions in her mother’s home. The council applied to strike out the daughter’s action as an abuse of process of the court. HHJ Graham QC allowed the council’s application, applying the doctrine of res judicata. The Court of Appeal allowed the daughter’s appeal.

It was a cardinal principle of res judicata that the second issue or action must arise between the same parties as the first. Here, the plaintiff was different. No exception to the rule arose simply from the fact that the second plaintiff was a member of the same family as the first or dependent on her. Therefore, the doctrine of ‘res judicata’ had no application to the case.

The council’s alternative proposition, that the settlement included a compensatory element for the child, was similarly rejected. No settlement including an award for a child or other person suffering from a disability could be made without proceedings by a next friend and the approval of the court. However, Simon Brown LJ stated: As the judge rightly recognised, in circumstances such as these, it is plainly in the public interest to have a single action in which the claims of all affected members of the household are included rather than a multiplicity of actions. If, unjustifiably, separate actions are brought and the fault is found to lie with the solicitor, a wasted costs order may well be appropriate.

Lambeth LBC v Rogers [2000] 0 EG 27; (2000) 2 HLR ; [2000] LGR 9 ; [2000] L&TR 9; ( 999) 

Effect of court postponing possession, after SPO breached, was to revive the tenancy and, retrospectively, the repairing obligation

Routh v Leeds CC June 998 Legal Action 

Reinstatement of tenancy to allow action for disrepair would be unjust See also Marshall v Bradford MDC and Dunn v Bradford MDC

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