New Judgment: Edwards v Kumarasamy  UKSC 40
13 Wednesday Jul 2016
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 20.
The respondent tenant tripped on an uneven paving stone on a path between a flat doorway and a car park, and brought proceedings contending breach of covenants under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, s 11(1)(a), for the appellant landlord to keep in repair the “structure and exterior of the dwelling-house”.
Held: although the appellant had a sufficient “interest” in the front hallway and paved area for the purposes of s 11(1A) of the 1985 Act, he was not liable for the disrepair which caused the respondent’s injury, as (i) he could only be liable if the paved area was “part of the exterior of the front hall” and it was not, and (ii) he could only be liable if he had had notice of the disrepair before the accident, and he did not (cf paras 29-59; Lord Neuberger considered it “strictly unnecessary” to consider (ii)).
It was not possible, as a matter of ordinary language, to describe a path leading from a car park to the entrance door of a front hall to a building, as part of the exterior of that building.