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Supreme Court Rules on Landlord's Liability to Repair Common Parts

Douglas Rhodes, senior associate Trowers & Hamlins LLP comments

In Edwards v Kumarasemy [2016] UKSC 40 the Supreme Court has ruled on the extent of an intermediate landlord's liability to repair the common parts in a block of flats.

In a decision that will be welcomed by buy-to-let investors and other intermediate landlords who let properties but are themselves long leaseholders of flats within a block, the Supreme Court has ruled that the duty to repair does not extend to a path leading from a car-park to the front door of the block of flats.

Background facts
Mr Kumarasemy was the head leaseholder of a flat within a block of flats accessed by a paved pathway leading to the main entrance door which opened on to a front hallway. Under Mr Kumarasemy's lease it was the freeholder that covenanted to maintain the external pathways. Mr Kumarasemy granted an assured shorthold tenancy to Mr Edwards, under which Mr Edwards covenanted to maintain the flat except for items which Mr Kumarasemy was responsible for maintaining.  

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