Repairing covenants: the extent of the obligation — what’s in a name?

The wording of a repairing covenant can often give rise to confusion and misconceptions about the extent of a tenant’s obligations. Although it is only one element that is taken into account when assessing liability, it is a key one, and it is important to understand that certain words will trigger greater obligations than others.

As a starting point, unless there is clear wording to the contrary — such as a schedule of condition — a tenant’s liability for repairs will be assessed by reference to a hypothetical scenario. In this scenario, taking into account the age, character and location of the property, the court will consider what works would make it reasonably fit for occupation by a reasonably minded tenant of the class who would be likely to take it.

A general covenant to repair will not require the tenant to put the property into absolutely perfect repair or pristine condition, but will generally be satisfied if the property is substantially in repair. It is an objective test, with a number of factors to be considered and assessed. One of these factors is the wording of the repairing covenants, and the extent to which they extend or diminish the level of obligation…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Taylor Wessing briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below. 

Briefings from Taylor Wessing

View more briefings from Taylor Wessing

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • merger deal

    Corporate crunch time: who will triumph at The Lawyer Awards 2014?

    As the equity capital markets rocketed back into favour and global M&A saw at least a partial return to form, there have been some rich pickings for The Lawyer’s Corporate Team of the Year award shortlisted firms in 2014. 

  • singapore orchid

    Singapore: Cash course

    The city-state is working hard to become a global wealth management hub, and law firms are gearing up for a prosperous new world

View more analysis from The Lawyer


5 New Street Square

Jurisdiction: UK
No. of offices: 4
No. of qualified lawyers: 67 (International 50)