Summary of Recent Cases – Substantive Law


Applicability of s.2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957

Decisions by the Court of Appeal and the Queen’s Bench Division appear to conflict on whether or not a landlord owes a duty to his tenant under s.2 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.

(a) Drysdale v Hedges [2012] All ER (D),

The Claimant brought an action against her landlord after slipping on the front step of her rented property. The Court held that s.2 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 did not apply, since it had been replaced by s.4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 (‘s.4 DPA’). On the facts of the case, painting the steps did not constitute a breach of the landlord’s duty under s.4 DPA, since the presence of the paint did not cause the steps not to be ‘in good repair’ (see paras [69], [74] and [77]).

(b) Alexander v Freshwater Properties Ltd & Anor 
[2012] EWCA Civ 1048 The Claimant brought an action against her landlord and the builder engaged by her landlord. The Claimant suffered injury when her hand in a door. The landlord was responsible for the maintenance of the door and had engaged the builder to carry out refurbishment. At first instance the landlord was found to be in breach of his duty under s.2(1) of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. The Court of Appeal upheld this decision (see para [19]). There is no record that the point in Drysdale was taken in this instance.

August 19, 2012 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases