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The slum tenant and the common law: a comparative study

Reynolds, James Isaac (1974) The slum tenant and the common law: a comparative study. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004376


This thesis examines the legal position of the slum tenant in the common law jurisdictions of England, the United States and the Commonwealth. Part I introduces the topic by sketching in the social and historical background. It also discusses the powers conferred upon local authorities by housing and public health legislation to aid tenants. The second Part examines the contractual rights of such a tenant and, in particular, the existence of implied terms of fitness and repair. It also looks at some recent innovat ions in the American law and discusses the possibility of similar developments in the English law. The third Part is concerned with statutory modifications to the common law and the fate of these in the courts. Some suggestions are made as to the meaning of certain vague terms in the legislation. The landlord's liability in tort forms the basis of Part IV which contrasts the relative immunity of the English law with liability under the American law. Part V deals with his liability in both contract and tort for parts of the premises such as those shared in common which are treated as being retained in the landlord's control. Part VI turns from rights and liabilities to a consideration of the remedies available to the tenant. It looks at traditional remedies, evaluates their merits and again looks to the American law for new remedies, in particular that of rent withholding. It also examines the legal position of tenant organisations which may be one means of improving housing conditions and at possible intervention by welfare services which may be another. Finally, Part VII discusses the attitude of the law to efforts by landlords to either exclude the rights of tenants or to take retaliatory action against those who exercise them.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1974 James Reynolds
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Law

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