J. Jarvis & Sons Ltd v Baker

Case Summary

 

Court:
 High Court
Status:
 Not Binding
Current Legislation:
 Party Wall etc. Act 1996, s. 13
Historic Legislation:
 London Building Acts (Amendment) Act 1939, s.58
Facts:

Mrs Baker undertook works to a party wall authorised by an award. That award required the adjoining owner, Mr Benkert, to pay half of the cost of the works. The works were undertaken and completed by Baker’s builder, Jarvis. Baker paid her half of the costs.

Baker’s surveyor omitted to serve an account on Mr Benkert within two months of completion of the works. Baker refused to pay Jarvis the remaining half on the basis that it was Benkert’s responsibility.

Jarvis sued Baker on the basis that the contract was with her, notwithstanding any arrangements there may be with a third party. Baker issue a third party claim (now a “Part 20 claim”) against Benkert.

Decision:

The Court found Baker liable for the fees in the main claim against her by the builder, Jarvis.

In the third party claim the Court found Benkert was liable under the award, notwithstanding that an account had not been served on him.

Comment:

This decision conflicts with Spiers & Sons Ltd v Troup, on which it was held an adjoining owner was not liable because an account has not been served within the two month period.

There is therefore no clear authority on this issue either way.