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REPAIRS. That work which is done to an estate to keep it in good order.
2. What a party is bound to do, when the law imposes upon him the duty to make necessary repairs, does not appear to be very accurately defined. Natural and unavoidable decay in the buildings must always be allowed for when there is no express covenant to the contrary; and it seems, the lessee will satisfy the obligation the law imposes on him, by delivering the premises at the expiration of his tenancy, in a habitable state. Questions in relation to repairs most frequently arise between the landlord and tenant.
3. When there is no express agreement between the parties, the tenant is always required to do the necessary repairs. Woodf. L. & T. 244: Arch. L. & T. 188. He is therefore bound to put in windows or doors that have been broken by him, so as to prevent any decay of the premises, but he is not required to put a new room on an old worn out house. 2 Esp. N. P. C. 590.
4. An express covenant on the part of the lessee to keep a house in repair, and leave it in as good a plight as it was when the lease was made, does not bind him to repair the ordinary and natural decay. Woodf. L. & T. 256. And it has been held that such a covenant does not bind him to rebuild a house which had been destroyed by a public enemy. 1 Dall. 210.
5. As to the time when the repairs are to be made, it would seem reasonable that when the lessor is bound to make them he should have the right to enter and make them, when a delay until after the expiration of the lease would be injurious to the estate: but when no such damage exists, the landlord should have no right to enter without the consent of the tenant. See 18 Toull. n. 297. When a house has been destroyed by accidental fire, neither the tenant nor the landlord is bound to rebuild unless obliged by some agreement so to do. 4 Paige R. 355; 1 T. R. 708; Fonb. Eq. B. 1, c. 6, s. S. Vide 6 T. R. 650; 4 Camp. R. 275; Harr. Dig. Covenant VII. Vide Com. Rep. 627; 6 T. R. 650; 21 Show. 401; 3. Ves. Jr. 34; Co. Litt., 27 a, note 1; 3 John. R. 44; 6 Mass. R. 63; Platt on Cov. 266; Com. L. & T. 200; Com. Dig. Condition, L 12; Civil Code of Louis. 2070; 1 Saund. 322, n. 1; Id. 323, n. 7; 2 Saund, 158 b, n. 7 & 10; Bouv. Inst. Index. h.t.