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Definition of substantial

Definition of substantial

Postby optimist22 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:26 pm

Apologies for number of posts but trying to unpick what a lease actually means ! In the term to keep the property in 'good and substantial repair' is there a legal definition of 'substantial' ? why not simply 'good' ?
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Re: Definition of substantial

Postby atticus » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:20 pm

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Re: Definition of substantial

Postby theycantdothat » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:27 am

Words like "good", "substantial" and "full" do not add much, if they add anything, when they qualify the word "repair".

The site referred to above is misleading as it repeats the misconception, now widespread and which seems to have arisen over the last few years, that a tenant is not under any obligation to return the premises to the landlord in any better condition than they were at the beginning of the tenancy. The purpose of a schedule of condition is misunderstood. It is not to set out the condition of the property so that when the lease ends the parties can apply the supposed principle to determine what works the tenant should have done. It is rather a record by reference to which the tenant's repairing obligation is modified to exclude existing wants of repair. It is a shield and not a sword. Say the schedule records that the cellar door is half-rotten. At the end of the tenancy the tenant can hand back the premises with the door half rotten. However, if the door falls off its hinges and cannot be put back up then the tenant must fit a new door. The only way to have avoided any liability would have been to exclude the door completely from the repairing obligation.

A tenant's obligation is to return the property in the state which the lease requires him to have kept it. However, both statute and and the common law intervene.

Statute intervenes, first, in the case of certain residential properties by imposing obligations on the landlord with respect to the structure and other parts. More generally, statute provides that a landlord's damages for a breach of the repairing covenant cannot exceed the decrease in the values of the premises.

The common law intervenes by saying that the standard of repair has to depend on various factors such as the length of the lease, the age of the property, its location, the use to which the premises are put and their general condition at the start of the lease. Rather than say that the tenant has no obligation to hand the property back in a better condition than he took it, it says that the tenant is not obliged to hand back to the landlord a whole new thing. That means that an unqualified repairing obligation may require the tenant to make good wants of repair existing when the tenancy began. It has been held that "repair" includes "put in repair."
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Re: Definition of substantial

Postby optimist22 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:28 am

Thanks - absolutely brilliant.
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Re: Definition of substantial

Postby optimist22 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:23 pm

Sorry to resurrect this. I am being quizzed ! What statute limits damages to reduction in value of premises please ? Also does this apply leaseholder wishing to sue Freeholder ?

Thanks for all the help this year.

Happy Christmas all and may the New Year bring all you wish yourself.
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Re: Definition of substantial

Postby atticus » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:32 pm

From memory - s18 Landlord & Tenant Act 1927.
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Re: Definition of substantial

Postby optimist22 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:50 am

Many thanks. I'll look it up and, hopefully, nothing later to change it.
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