If it ain’t broke you can’t fix it: repair means putting right something that has been damaged

A covenant to repair requires the covenantor to put right damage that has been done. This might involve dealing with inherent design or construction defects if that is the only sensible way to cure the damage.

In Quick v Taff-Ely Borough Council ([1985] 3 W.L.R. 981, CA (Eng)) Q was the tenant of a house owned by the local authority. The local authority was under a statutory duty to keep the structure and exterior of the house in repair. Living conditions in the house were terrible because of condensation. This was caused by the original design and construction of the house. It had not been realised that the design would cause this problem. The structure and exterior had not been damaged and so the landlord was not in breach of the covenant to repair. A covenant to repair requires the covenantor to put right damage that has been done. This might involve dealing with inherent design or construction defects if that is the only sensible way to cure the damage. This was a case where the inherent defect had caused a loss of amenity but no damage to the structure or exterior of the house.

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