Melt-Down Fear Sets Tone for Judicial Year; 1998 Saw a Number of Interesting Legal Cases Relating to Commercial Property. Jane Rothwell, a Partner at Dibb Lupton Alsop, Looks at Some of the Landmark Decisions

By Rothwell, Jane | The Birmingham Post (England), February 18, 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Melt-Down Fear Sets Tone for Judicial Year; 1998 Saw a Number of Interesting Legal Cases Relating to Commercial Property. Jane Rothwell, a Partner at Dibb Lupton Alsop, Looks at Some of the Landmark Decisions


Rothwell, Jane, The Birmingham Post (England)


The threat of a Millennium melt-down as a result of the Year 2000 bug is causing consternation for those taking on new builds and assignments of property which may not be compliant.

For example, if the lifts do not work as a result of computer failure, who picks up the tab?

The courts have gone some way down the road of addressing this issue in case law on repair, notably in Minja Properties Limited v Cussins Property Group plc and Creska Limited v Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council.

In Minja it was held that the replacement of existing single glazed windows with double glazing was repair and not replacement as the tenant argued.

In Creska, the property had underfloor heating and the tenant was obliged to repair all electrical heating installations. The heating had become defective and the tenant installed storage heaters.

When the landlord sued, it was held that the tenant was responsible for the repair of the underfloor heating. Even though this involved improvement, and would be expensive, it was still repair.

It is likely that the replacement of existing chips will amount to a repair rather than a renewal if the above cases are followed, and will thus fall within the tenant's repair obligation.

However, to say it amounts to repair does not suffice: the tenant's repair obligation will only be called upon if there is a disrepair.

Similarly it may be that the fault with the chip will be an inherent defect which would, if the lease were correctly drafted, fall within the landlord's repair responsibility.

As added comfort for the landlord, should the lease fail to provide landlords with rights to enter and carry out the works at the tenant's cost, the case of Rainbow Estates Limited v Tolkenhold Limited reinforced the view that specific performance is available as a remedy for breach of the tenant's repairing obligation.

Indeed the courts appear increasingly willing to assist landlords whose tenants are in breach and who do not want to go down the forfeiture or damages route.

In Rainbow Estates the repair works amounted to some pounds 300,000, the lease contained no forfeiture clause and no rights of entry for the landlord to carry out the works and reclaim the costs.

In 1998 the courts seemed keen on ensuring that parties to the lease comply with the time limits set out.

In Fox & Widley v Guram, the tenant was entitled to challenge the landlord's rent review proposals and elect for arbitration. It failed to serve the appropriate notice and then applied for an extension of time, which was refused.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Melt-Down Fear Sets Tone for Judicial Year; 1998 Saw a Number of Interesting Legal Cases Relating to Commercial Property. Jane Rothwell, a Partner at Dibb Lupton Alsop, Looks at Some of the Landmark Decisions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?