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I just recently read an article which stated that landlords could be sued by tenants for failing to repair surrounding areas of a property (access to the property, i.e. broken footpath etc.) before it had been reported as an issue by the tenant. This got me thinking as it also stated that common areas in a HMO for example would also fall under such jurisdiction. I know a landlord needs to be responsible and take due care and attention to make sure his property is safe for the tenants but what if an issue occurs between inspections etc.
I quote the article directly ‘
A new Court of Appeal decision has switched the focus on who is responsible for repairs to letting property.
In Edwards v Kumarasamy, the tenant rented a flat in a block from the landlord, and after tripping on a damaged path to the block, made a claim for compensation to the landlord.
The court allowed the appeal, overturning the traditional view of landlords and letting agents that they are only liable to repairs once reported by the tenant and if they are on the land belonging to the landlord.
The judgment extends that liability to any area the landlord has an ‘estate or interest ‘in.
As the paths, gardens, parking and other common areas around a letting property offer access, even if a landlord does not own the freehold, the landlord has an obligation to keep them under repair, the court ruled.
The court also found that as landlords and letting agents do not need permission from tenants to access common areas, the notion that the tenant should report when a repair is needed does not apply to these areas.’
With this in mind it got me thinking if landlords insurance covers such scenarios? If not then what are other landlords doing. Are they obtaining some kind of professional indemnity insurance for landlords?
Appreciate your input.
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