Mitchell-v-Glasgow City Council. Landlords not liable for wrongful acts of tenants.
19 February 2009
Mitchell v Glasgow City Council  UKHL 11: In a landmark decision, the House of Lords has ruled that the scope of duty of care owed by a landlord to his tenants does not include a duty to warn or otherwise protect against wrongful acts by other tenants.
The pursuers sought damages from the Council after the first pursuer's husband, a tenant of the Council, was killed by his neighbour after a long running feud. All 5 Lords of Appeal agreed that the majority of the Inner House (2008 SC 351) had erred in overturning the decision of Lord Bracadale to dismiss the action as irrelevant. The decision makes it clear that the tripartite test from Caparo v Dickman applies throughout the UK in all claims in negligence, and also that, in the absence of an assumption of responsibility, no one -whether landlord or otherwise - owes a duty of care to warn of the risk of injury or damage from criminal acts of a third party.
Roddy Dunlop of Axiom Advocates was Junior Counsel for Glasgow City Council.
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