Episode 2018: The Defective Premises Act Strikes Back

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Kort Egan

May 2018

A paper based on the Highly Commended entry in the Hudson essay competition 2017

Kort Egan looks at the rarely invoked provisions of the Defective Premises Act 1972 and argues that these might provide a route to improved standards and recovery for wronged purchasers of dwellings. Section 1(1) of the Act states that a person ‘taking on work for or in connection with’ the provision of a dwelling owes a duty to the person who orders the dwelling or any person who acquires an interest in the dwelling. By analysing the policy behind the Defective Premises Act 1972 and the relevant case law, the author questions whether building control services provided by local authorities would be captured by this wording. He suggests that the ability to pursue claims against local authorities or other building control bodies could help prevent the mistakes highlighted by the Hackitt interim report.

Introduction – The inspiration for the Act – Content of the Act – Building control – Pure economic loss – Case law – Section 1(2) defence – Conclusion.

The author: Kort Egan is a pupil barrister at Keating Chambers, London.

Text: 12 pages

Paper number: 
May 2018, online, 230k

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