chapter  5
DEBT (a) Contractual debt
Pages 5

Millett LJ:… The question…is whether the landlord’s right to enter the property, effect the repairs himself and then claim to recover the cost of doing so from the tenant is a claim for damages for breach of a covenant by the tenant ‘to keep or put in repair during the currency of the lease all or any of the property comprised in the lease’…

The short answer to the question is that the tenant’s liability to reimburse the landlord for his expenditure on repairs is not a liability in damages for breach of his repairing covenant at all. The landlord’s claim sounds in debt not damages; and it is not a claim to compensation for breach of the tenant’s covenant to repair, but for reimbursement of sums actually spent by the landlord in carrying out repairs himself. I shall expand on each of these distinctions in turn.