Defective Premises Act 1972 s1

Andrews v Schooling [ 99 ] WLR 78 ; [ 99 ] All ER 72 ; ( 99 ) 2 HLR , CA S 1

The landlords converted a house and let out the separate flats. The tenant of the ground-floor flat complained of dampness permeating from the cellar below. The landlords denied any liability under Defective Premises Act 1972 s1 because they had undertaken no works to the cellar. It was held on an application for an award of interim damages that s1 applies to both damage caused by the actual work and damage caused by failure to undertake necessary works.

Court of Appeal Adams v Rhymney Valley DC (200 ) HLR 44 , CA

Council not in breach of duty of care in installing windows according to standards at time of installation.

The council installed double-glazing with locks that had removable keys rather than button locks. The claimant tenant’s family kept the windows locked as a safety measure and hung the key in the kitchen.

In the course of a fire, the family was unable to escape through the locked windows and three children died. The council owed a duty of care because they had fitted the windows. The claimant took proceedings for damages for negligence and breach of statutory duty.

The Court of Appeal held that the landlord was not in breach of duty. The council was to be judged according to the standards of the reasonably skilful window designer and installer at the date of installation. At the time of installation button locks and key locks were not negligent choices for window security.

There was no breach in opting for one rather than the other. The design of the windows did not oblige the local authority to install a smoke alarm.

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