Question-   1.What building work was required to be done?

Solution-

Answer

Plaintiffs were the assignees of the reversion, defendant was the lessee. The premises leased by the defendants was deemed unsafe by the council, so in February the council served a notice on both the lessor and the defendants requiring them to take down the unsafe wall immediately. The lessor told the lessee to comply with the notice by 25 March, which was also the expiration date of their lease. The lessees did not comply.

 

Lessor argued that the lessee was liable to pay for the demolition and rebuilding of the wall due to a covenant in the lease to keep the premises in “good and tenantable repair”. The lessee argued that the deterioration of the wall was reasonable wear and tear, and that it could not have been repaired in any event because it was over 200 years old.

 

HELD: Lessee’s were liable because the extent of a lessee’s liability to repair under a “good and tenantable repair” covenant extends to making repairs or replacing parts of the premises which do not change the character or nature of the building. I.E – replacing the whole house might be too far, but replacing things that wear out during the tenancy is perfectly fine, so long as it does not change the nature of the building, in that the lessor doesn’t get something back better than what they originally let out.

 

'"Good tenantable repair" is such repair as, having regard to the age, character, and locality of the house, would make it reasonably fit for the occupation of a reasonably-minded tenant of the class who would be likely to take it.”

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