With regards to the repairing covenant the court held that the force of the words "substantially" and "substantial" were to require that, but not necessarily in each and every minute detail, the premises were to be repaired, renewed, cleansed and kept. What that standard requires in any given case must be a question of fact and degree.
In reaching a conclusion as to whether the requisite standard had been met in respect of a particular matter it is plainly relevant to take account the standard of repair and decoration at the date of the demise and also the uses to which the premises were permitted to be, and had been put.
With respect to whether the defendant had suffered any loss, the defendant had already accepted that by virtue of s18(1) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1927 the amount of any damages was limited to the amount by which the value of the reversion immediately expectant upon the lease was diminished at the date of determination of the lease. The defendant had failed to show any such diminution and had achieved an extremely advantageous sale at a price far in excess of what anyone would possibly have thought the premises were worth. The defendant had therefore suffered no diminution in the value of his reversionary interest.
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*Full case details
(1) Philip Louis Simmons (2) Anthony Simmonds (3) Harvey Cohen vs Michael Coleman Dresden 18 May 2004, (HH Richard Seymour QC)
The decision is interesting in that the judge not only found that there were specific breaches of the repairing covenant but he even specified the costs of remedying those defects. Having done that, he went on to decide that the defendant had suffered no loss and was therefore unable to claim those costs. The decision illustrates how important it is to ensure that any disputes with tenants/ex-tenants are resolved satisfactorily before attempts are made to sell the property.