ON 14 AUGUST 1997, the High Court of Australia delivered Northern Sandblasting Pty Ltd v Harris  HCA 39; (1997) 188 CLR 313; (1997) 146 ALR 572; (1997) 71 ALJR 1428 (14 August 1997).
A landlord has a duty to its tenants to use reasonable care and skill to provide safe premises. The obligation is limited to repair of defects which the landlord was or should have been aware. The landlord must reasonably respond to any information it receives as to the existence of any defect.
The court held that the rule in the English decision of Cavalier v Pope Cavalier v Pope  AC 428 (a landlord is immune from liability in tort for defective premises causing injury) should no longer be followed in Australian law as it is inconsistent with the principles concerning of duty of care developed since Donoghue v Stevenson.
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