They think it’s all over….

We covered the case of Beech v Birmingham CC in the High Court here. The appeal to the Court of Appeal was heard on 11/6/2014 and judgement was given on 17/6/2014.

I will not repeat the facts here except to say that the appeal was narrowed down to only two grounds of challenge: namely that the notice to quit was procured from the late Mrs Warren under undue influence from the housing officer, Mr Pumphrey, and that it had been given when no formal mental capacity assessment had been carried out, in breach of the Code of Practice issued under s.42(1)(a) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (the ‘public … Read the full post

Succession and Sharia

A quick note on a recent Court of Appeal decision: Northumberland & Durham Property Trust Ltd v Ouaha.

From 1/8/1980 until his death on 19/11/2010, Mr Al-Faisal held a protected Rent Act tenancy of Flat 15, 1 Royal Avenue House, London, SW3. In 1987, Ms Al-Faisal married the Appellant, Ms Ouaha, in an Islamic marriage ceremony in London and the couple had two children in 1991 and 1994. Importantly for the purposes of this case, there was no civil ceremony.

The parties separated in either 2002 or 2003 but continued living under the same roof. After Mr Al-Faisal’s death, the Respondent landlord commenced possession proceedings and HHJ Baucher in … Read the full post

Housing and Human Rights Round-Up Pt 2

Pelipenko v Russia 16/1/14

We reported the ECtHR’s decision on the merits here. There now follows the Chamber’s decision on the claim for just satisfaction. The Applicants’ claim for the breaches of Art 6 and Art 8 broke down into 4 parts: 1. the purchase costs of a new flat (150K Euros); 2. the costs of maintenance and repair of their former accommodation (17K Euros); 3. temporary accommodation costs following eviction (3K Euros); 4. loss of belongings and ancillary costs (20K Euros); 5. non-pecuniary losses (170K Euros).

The Court noted that this was unlike other cases where the State had thwarted claims against private parties and where it was … Read the full post

‘We are the world’- Brent LBC

One test for establishing succession to a secure tenancy by a gay partner (not being a civil partner) has been established since Nutting v Southern Housing Group Ltd [2004] EWHC 2982 (Ch). This test is “that the relationship must be openly and unequivocally displayed to the outside world”.

In a possession claim heard at Central London County Court on, I think, 23 January 2014, Brent Council took what one might call a solipsistic approach to the meaning of ‘outside world’.

It is, so far at least, just a County Court case, but is very interesting in terms of approach and issues arising. The Defendant has requested that his name is … Read the full post

There’s no place like home

Reading BC v Holt is an important case on the approach to be taken by the courts when making possession orders under Ground 16 (and since 1/4/12, 15A) of the Housing Act 1985.

Mrs Holt has occupied 28 Southdown Rd, Emmer Green, Reading since her birth in 1953 and she became the successor tenant following the death of her mother on 24th July 2010.  Mrs Holt provided round the clock care for her mother in the latter stages of her life and predictably, Mrs Holt formed a strong emotional attachment to the property. Nevertheless, the Council decided in January 2011 that the 3-bed property was too large for her needs … Read the full post

How Limited is that Partnership?

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Salvesen and Riddell & Anor v. The Lord Advocate (Scotland) [2013] UKSC 22

It is not common for us to cover Scots Law, or Agricultural Law, here. However, both mores are to be broken in the face of an interesting convention decision from the Supreme Court.

Facts
You will have to bear with me as the facts are complex. I promise to keep it simple. Scottish Agricultural tenants have historically had very substantial security of tenure along with very powerful succession rights. Much the same situation has existed in England too at times. This is said to be good for land husbandry but is equally a reflection of … Read the full post

When is a spouse a spouse? We’ll find out

Just a note on a permission to appeal hearing:

Northumberland & Durham Property Trust Ltd v Ouaha [2013] EWCA Civ 291 [Not on Bailii yet, noted in the Garden Court Bulletin]

A Rent Act tenant died in November 2010. The other occupant was his 16 year old son. The son’s mother, Ms Ouaha claimed to have succeeded to the tenancy under Schedule 1 para 1 Rent Act 1977, though she did not live with the tenant and his son. She claimed to be the ‘surviving spouse of the original tenant’

At first instance, her claim was dismissed on the grounds that she and the tenant had not been married, … Read the full post

Unclear judgment on unclear occupancy

London Borough of Brent v Tudor [2013] EWCA Civ 157

This was an appeal of a Circuit Judge’s finding that LB Brent’s possession claim under Ground 16, Schedule 2 Housing Act 1985 failed because the property was reasonably needed to accommodate those living there. Very unusually, the appeal was in large part a challenge to the Judge’s findings of fact.

Ms Tudor had succeeded to her mother’s tenancy of a six bedroom property. The mother had died in March 2009. Ms T had applied to succeed in July 2009 after Brent served an NTQ. She named four members of her family as living with her. The Council replied in August … Read the full post