It has long been established law that a Landlord owes no duty of care at common law in relation to damp and mould caused by a poorly designed property. The ability of a Landlord to identify the required works as an improvement will defeat a tenant’s claim for disrepair. A recent case is the Magistrates Court under the Environmental Protection Act has provided Tenants with a remedy otherwise not available to them.
A mother of three successfully took a private prosecution against the London Borough of Lambeth for failing to treat mould and damp in a Council flat she lived in since early 2009. At the local Magistrates Court the Council were ordered to complete the repairs and pay compensation of £4,000.00 and costs.
The Case was funded by a conditional fee arrangement; the Solicitor takes on such a case at its own risk and is paid only if successful. This recent case will no doubt be of interest to Tenant Solicitors who will see the Magistrates Court as a new source of potentially profitable business.
The case above should act as a warning to all landlords that they can no longer ignore damp and mould caused by poorly designed properties. To do so will create more cases coming before the Magistrates Court and substantial costs awarded against them.
If you have any queries concerning the matters raised please contact Sharon Porter-Gayle, Senior Solicitor of the Property Litigation Team on 0208 567 3477 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org