An important point has been raised in the recent case of Edwards v Kumarasamy heard at the Court of Appeal which may have huge implications for both Landlords and agents who carry out inspections.
The case centered on a tenant who injured his knee when tripping on a path outside the block of flats where he rented a second floor flat. The Landlord did not own the block or the path but the tenant bought a disrepair claim under Section 111 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and was successful in his claim.
This has major implications for both Landlords and agents alike as both can now be held responsible for not dealing with repair issues to areas serving their properties regardless of ownership, should a tenant decide to pursue a claim.
Therefore agents and Landlords who carry out inspections should now also inspect areas over which they have rights. There is no requirement for tenants to alert Landlords and Agents to any such problems but the Landlord is still expected to get any issues resolved when identified.
Personally I think this is going to be problematic as, most issues will need to be reported to the local authority when dealing with footpaths etc, or block management companies. I would hope that a little bit of leeway will be granted to both Landlords and Agents that, if they have reported an issue to one of these bodies, from there on they are in that parties hands and cannot drive any repairs. Time will tell!