Adams v Marylebone Borough Council

Case Summary

 

Court:
Court of Appeal
Status:
Not Binding
Current Legislation:
Party Wall etc. Act 1996, s. 7(2)
Historic Legislation:
London Building Act 1894, s. 93(3)
Facts:

Mrs Adams owned the lease of 33 John Street, Edgware. The Council owned the freehold of the next door property at 34.

 In 1904 the Council started works without serving a party structure notice. Mrs Adams obtained an injunction stopping the works, as well as damages, including damages for loss of trade in her restaurant. The Council stopped works and served the correct notice.

 The Court had awarded compensation for loss of trade until the date of service of the party structure notice. Mrs Adams asked the surveyors to award further damages for loss of business after the service of the party structure notice. The Surveyors refused. Mrs Adams appealed.

Decision:

The only right to compensation for adjoining owners was that set out in the 1894 Act. There was no “general” right to compensation.

Under the 1894 Act the only entitlement to compensation where a wall was raised was to have any physical damage made good. Adams was therefore not entitled to compensation for loss of business as the result of the works.

The Court discussed whether damages could be awarded for unnecessary inconvenience, but did not come to a decision.

Comment:

Under the 1894 Act the statutory indemnity against all loss an damage now found in section 7(2) of the 1996 Act applied only to excavation works. Under the 1996 Act however the indemnity applies to all works.

This case is therefore likely to be decided differently today.