When Is New Carpet Dilapidated?

In Laindon Holdings Limited v South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (2016), the Court of Appeal decided that, the tenant had a right to replace carpets without landlord’s specific consent. Accordingly the tenant was not in breach of their repairing covenant in so doing.

In this terminal dilapidations claim, the landlord, asserted that because the tenant had replaced the previous carpet tiles with broadloom carpet they had not complied with their covenant to repair and therefore sought damages from the tenant.

The court found that the lease contained a clause permitted internal non-structural alterations, which amongst other things, allowed the tenant to make changes to the carpets. Replacement of the tiled carpet was therefore a permitted alteration. Since the new carpet was not in disrepair at the end of lease and the landlord had not asked for it to be removed, the tenant had not breached their repairing covenant.

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