West & Smith's

Law of Dilapidations

Author: P. F. Smith BCL, MA

Publishers: This Date's Gazette

(11 th Edition)

Foreword: P. E. Goodacre, MSc, FRICS & FCIOB



Excellent cross-referencing, both at the front in the table of cases and table of statutes. It covers both residential and commercial dilapidation. We would tend to use it as a reference manual. It has readable sections, albeit that the case laws are summaries, which are included to clarify a point. The preface advises that the book celebrated its 70 th anniversary in 2003. It was originally published by Beniah Adkin, who is the Second Principal of the College of State Management . We are sure things were different back then.  


We would describe this book as readable chunks of information, with each chapter, whilst being self-contained, making references to other relevant section's cases. The cross-referencing in this book really is excellent.


Very readable in small pieces. We originally tried to read the book in one go, but found it far more readable when we looked at particular cases that we were interested in that we are presently working on. The book was able to cover these adequately. They range from a residential tenant who doesn't presently enjoy the quiet enjoyment of the premises (neighbours very loud) and a usual gauge of how clearly the book explains the issue of repair covenants, how clearly we can gain further information on inherent defects, with reference to the valley gutter case that we are currently working on.


There are 14 chapters, as follows:

    • Chapter 1: Introduction

    • Chapter 2: Waste

    • Chapter 3: Implied of Landlord and Tenant as to repair and fitness

    • Chapter 4: Repairing Obligations of Landlords

    • Chapter 5: Express repairing obligations of tenant

    • Chapter 6: Landlord's remedy for tenant's breach of repairing obligations

    • Chapter 7: Forfeiture for breach of covenant to repair

    • Chapter 8: Tenant's remedies for breach of covenant to repair

    • Chapter 9: Insurance and re-instatement of premises

    • Chapter 10: Liability to repair imposed by statute

    • Chapter 11: Party walls and dangerous structures

    • Chapter 12: Agricultural dilapidations

    • Chapter 13: Third party rights and liabilities

    • Chapter 14: Miscellaneous aspects



The Mysteries Of The Word Repair, Put Leave and Keep

Chapter 5: Express Repairing Obligations of Tenant

This chapter looks at work repair and explains how the proof of disrepair is onerous on the landlord, also that repair does not necessarily require improvement. It looks at a contrast between old and new tenancies and also limits a repairing covenant. It also looks at put, leave and keep in repair: covenants to put in repair, covenants to leave in repair and covenants to keep in repair. In the meaning of repair the proof of disrepair and repair do not require improvements.

Also, for us, there is an interesting section on inherent defects, the lessee's liability to cure inherent defects, stating that he still may have to cure the effects of inherent defects, which can result in an improvement.


Review Upon Reflection

This is a detailed book that we would recommend for reading for specific issues and also enables us to expand a topic by the excellent cross-referencing within the book, which hopefully covers all aspects of the issue you are looking at. If you require any help with regard to dilapidations, negotiations or disputes please contact us on 0800 298 5434 and we will be happy to help.

0800 298 54 24


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