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Elite Investments Ltd v T.I. Bainbridge Silencers Ltd 1986

Elite Investments Ltd v T.I. Bainbridge Silencers Ltd 1986

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Elite Investments Ltd v T.I. Bainbridge Silencers Ltd 1986

Roofs (repair or replacement/new materials) – In a case where the court concluded that replacement of the roof was within the covenant to repair, there was debate about the effect of the proposed new roof utilising more modern materials. The court held that:

‘It is not that the roof is going to be very different. It is a new material, but that is just taking advantage of better materials that are now on the market. It does not really alter the basic structure of the building and, after all, this is quite a simple building, it is not some complex structure such as [was considered in Post Office v Aquarius Properties Ltd]. This is a relatively simple building and the roof will not be largely changed simply because it has got a roof looking similar to the existing roof but made of modern materials. Further, it seems largely irrelevant, because the old material is available and costs the same. Counsel placed the greatest emphasis on the cost; it is totally disproportionate, he said, to the value of the building in repair. I have already dealt with that going through the cases, and in my judgement that is a false point. What has to be compared in this connection in determining whether you have got a repair or not, is not the value of the resulting building with the new roof but what it will cost you to do away with the building altogether and build a new one, or substantially build a new one. Then he said, having looked at the factors no reasonable landlord would do it. That again is not the test, if I may respectfully say so; it is a question of whether the tenants have undertaken to do what is done and what is the true meaning of the covenant. So my conclusion on that, as is evident from now, is that this is a repair or replacement of part within the meaning of the covenant. It is not a different thing. It will simply be an industrial building with a new roof. The consequence is that I find that the case for damages in relation to Unit 1 in the sum I mentioned of £84,364 is established.’