Supreme court verdict good news for landlords

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The Supreme Court has overturned an appeal by a tenant was suing his landlord over an uneven paving stone – a decision which has been hailed good news for landlords

In the case of Edwards v Kumarasamy, Mr Edwards, who rented a flat from Mr Kumarasamy was hurt when he tripped on an uneven paving stone on the path leading to the communal bins and the car park.

He sued for compensation – on the grounds that his injury was caused by Mr Kumarasamy’s failure to keep the paved area in repair, breaching the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

At first instance Deputy District Judge Gilman accepted Mr Edwards case and awarded him £3,750 in damages.

A legal wrangle ensued and the case ended up in the Supreme Court, which overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal and found in Mr Kumarasamy’s favour.

In addition to overturning the decision the judge in the case went further, stating that a landlord needs to have been notified of disrepair before they are liable for any injury.

The decision  is good news for landlords.  The court finding in favour of Edwards could have set a dangerous precedent, opening the floodgates for similar cases which could see tenants sue landlords over injuries sustained outside areas they are liable to maintain.

The full judgement of the court is available here.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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