Hunt & Ors v Optima (Cambridge) Ltd & Ors

Citation: EWHC 681 (TCC)

Nature of case:
Hunt and others were the leaseholders on a block of flats developed by Optima, and brought a claim for breach of sales agreements, which agreed certain standards of completion, and of repairing covenants, and against Strutt & Parker, consultants on the project, for negligence.  The main issues were the scope of Optima’s responsibility under the sales agreements and repairing covenants, and the scope of Strutt & Parker’s responsibility in negligence.

Giving judgment for Hunt, Akenhead J held that under the agreements, the purchaser could sue at a time when, having actually moved in or been able occupy, the flat was found to be badly built or of inadequate materials.  A separate cause of action arose if the Building was completed and was found to be non-compliant with the relevant regulations.  The repairing covenant was a wide obligation imposed on Optima which obliged it to repair, renew or even vary those parts of the Building covered by the relevant clause.  Finally, a duty of care was owed by Strutt & Parker to Hunt, arising out of a special relationship akin to contract.
Link to Judgment

Counsel

William Webb

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