Landlord’s Repairs and Loss of Trade


One of the continuing sources of friction between landlords and tenants is the maintenance of buildings. Normally, the arguments are over inadequate maintenance, but a recent case dealt with problems which arose when a landlord repaired a building occupied by a tenant who ran a restaurant.

The problem for the restaurateur was that the landlord had, for a period lasting several months, erected scaffolding with protective sheeting around the building while maintenance work was being carried out. This had a serious impact on the tenant's business and the tenant made a claim for loss of profits due to the alleged failure of the landlord to take 'all reasonable precautions' to ensure that the tenant's right to 'quiet occupation' was not breached.

After long argument and three court cases, the landlord won on the basis that he had taken all reasonable precautions to minimise the disturbance to his tenant. Taking all possible precautions was not necessary – the landlord had the right to repair the building even if this meant the tenant's 'quiet enjoyment' had been breached.

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