Baillie v Savage

Landlord and tenant – Tenancy agreement. The occurrence of damage during a tenancy was a prerequisite for the operation of a rent suspension clause in a tenancy agreement. However, once damage had occurred during the tenancy, the real risk of further damage of a similar nature, which rendered the premises unfit for occupation and use, was sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the rent suspension clause. The Chancery Division so ruled in dismissing the defendant landlord's appeal against a judgment in favour of the claimant tenant, effectively reimbursing the latter for rent paid in advance, in circumstances where, some months into the two-year tenancy, part of one of the garden walls at the premises had collapsed. The court held that the alternative interpretation of the rent suspension clause, which would have required the claimant to have continued to pay rent while the property had been at risk of landslip, was not commercially sensible.

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