Damage to Plasterwork

Landlord and Tenant

In the recent case of Grand v Gill The Court of Appeal ruled that a landlord was liable for damage to the plasterwork in a flat he was letting.

Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, a landlord of a short residential lease has certain repair obligations.  This includes maintaining the structure and exterior of the property where the landlord has an interest.

In this case the damage to the plasterwork had been caused by damp and mould from a leaking roof – a part of the property that was outside of the landlord’s interest.  When the case was heard by the County Court it was held that the plasterwork was not part of the structure of the flat and therefore not covered by the repair obligation.

The Court of Appeal upheld the tenant’s appeal.  The Court found that the plaster constituted “a smooth constructional finish to the walls and ceilings, to which the decoration can be applied, rather than a decorative finish in itself”.  On this basis the plaster was deemed to be part of the structure and was therefore liable to repair by the Landlord.

If you are a Landlord or Tenant and would like further information on how this decision may affect you please contact us.