COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE SWANSEA COUNTY COURT
HHJ JUDGE WYN WILLIAMS Q.C.
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER
LORD JUSTICE RICHARDS
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Lord Justice Scott Baker :
i) that the work is carried out to a good standard by reputable contractors;
ii) when she vacates the flat the stair-lift will be removed and the stair case and the flat reinstated to its current condition.
The structure of the Act.
Section 22(3) provides;
"It is unlawful for a person managing any premises to discriminate against a person occupying those premises –
(a) in the way he permits the disabled person to make use of any benefit or facilities;
(b) by refusing or deliberating omitting to permit the disabled person to make use of any benefits or facilities; or
(c) by evicting the disabled person or subjecting him to any other detriment."
None of the remaining provisions of the section is relevant to the present appeal; nor is section 23.
"For the purposes of section 22, a person ("A") discriminates against a disabled person if –
(a) for a reason which relates to the disabled person's disability, he treats him less favourably then he treats or would treat others to whom that reason does not or would not apply; and
(b) he cannot show that the treatment in question is justified."
The remainder of the section is concerned with justification which is no longer in issue on this appeal.
"There is no legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to premises which are sold, let or managed. Although there is nothing in the Act to prohibit positive action in favour of disabled people, those who are selling, letting or managing premises do not have to make adjustments to make those premises more suitable for disabled people……."
The judge's approach.
Mummery L.J. said at p.963:
"The definition of discrimination in the 1995 Act does not contain an express provision requiring a comparison of the cases of different persons in the same, or not materially different, circumstances. The statutory focus is narrower: it is on the 'reason' for the treatment of the disabled employee and the comparison to be made is with the treatment of 'others to whom that reason does not or would not apply.' The 'others' with whom comparison is to be made are not specifically required to be in the same, or not materially different, circumstances: they only have to be 'persons to whom that reason does not or would not apply.'"
"A disabled tenant with a mobility impairment is prevented by the management agency of a block of flats from parking in front of the main entrance to the block. The agency requires him to park in the car park at the back of the block. Although this causes the disabled tenant inconvenience and difficulty, the reason for the agency's decision is that there is insufficient space at the front of the building and the disabled tenant's car frequently causes an obstruction to other tenants. The decision is likely to be justified."
Lord Justice Richards:
Lord Justice Auld: