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Defective Premises Act 1972

The Defective Premises Act enshrines in law a landlord's liability to carry out repairs at a property and creates duties to ensure that repairs are carried out properly.

The first section provides that a landlord must ensure the following:

"to see that the work which he takes on is done in a workmanlike or, as the case may be, professional manner, with proper materials and so that as regards that work the dwelling will be fit for habitation when completed."

The second section of the Defective Premises Act 1972 provides:

Duty of care with respect to work done on premises not abated by disposal of premises.

(1)Where work of construction, repair, maintenance or demolition or any other work is done on or in relation to premises, any duty of care owed, because of the doing of the work, to persons who might reasonably be expected to be affected by defects in the state of the premises created by the doing of the work shall not be abated by the subsequent disposal of the premises by the person who owed the duty.

And the third section provides that a landlord is liable even when the agreement passes certain responsibilities to a tenant.

Landlord’s duty of care in virtue of obligation or right to repair premises demised.

(1)Where premises are let under a tenancy which puts on the landlord an obligation to the tenant for the maintenance or repair of the premises, the landlord owes to all persons who might reasonably be expected to be affected by defects in the state of the premises a duty to take such care as is reasonable in all the circumstances to see that they are reasonably safe from personal injury or from damage to their property caused by a relevant defect.

The full Defective Premises Act 1972 can be downloaded here