Human Rights Round-up

3 cases have recently been decided by the ECtHR Chamber

Busuioc v Republic of Moldova [2013] ECHR 684 (16/7/13)

The Applicant (B) complained to the Court under Arts 3 and 8 ECHR about the State’s failure to protect her and her two children under the provisions of Moldovan national law from domestic violence perpetrated against them over several years by B’s former husband, VB, when they failed to order his eviction from the flat which they occupied together.

The parties had divorced in 2007 but B was repeatedly beaten by VB after their divorce. B’s application to have VB evicted from the flat was heard by the Supreme Court on … Read the full post

I think someone has got a little confused

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According to this article, the Residential Landlords Association are up in arms about the European Court of Human Rights being about to rule on article 8 defences in a case affecting private land owners. Richard Jones, the RLA policy director (and a solicitor who some might think should really know better) is quoted as saying:

“If Europe decides that respect for the home provisions within the Human Rights Convention apply to private landlords this will lead to a mass exodus of landlords, causing untold misery for those in desperate need of a place to live.”

There are a few problems with that statement, but perhaps the most immediate … Read the full post

Proportionality – between claim and hearing

Well, well. A successful proportionality defence on an introductory tenancy and one upheld on appeal. There is also some helpful confirmation about what can be considered in assessing proportionality.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council v Armour (2012) QBD 18/10/2012 (Not on Bailii. Note on Lawtel and on Garden Court’s site here)

Mr A was the introductory tenant of Southend, living in a flat with his 14 year old daughter. The tenancy started in January 2011. Over the next 3 months there were three complaints that Mr A had been verbally abusive to a neighbour, a member of staff of the property managing agents and some electrical contractors. It was also alleged … Read the full post

Housing and Human Rights Round-Up

Two interesting cases have been delivered by the ECHR in the last few weeks: Mago and others v Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yordanova and others v Bulgaria.

Mago

The applicants in Mago held tenancies for life of flats within Bosnia-Herzegovina (with the exception of Mrs Mago, whose husband was the tenant) and they were compelled for varying reasons to leave their  homes following the outbreak of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992. Security of these flats could be lost in a limited range of circumstances, including where the flat was left unoccupied for a continuous six month period or more. Once the tenants left, their properties were treated as abandoned by … Read the full post

The tenant is dead, long live the tenant

Our attention was drawn to a decision in the Medway County Court, presumably because it considered a proportionality defence. I’m not sure there’s much to see there — one of the team said that he was not “remotely excited about it”.

But it caught my eye. To be fair, one cannot always tell from a short judgment of this kind exactly what happened, but it gives the impression that landlord and tenant law was, at best, misunderstood. So it seemed like a golden opportunity to set the record straight.

The defendant’s father and mother had lived in the property under an assured tenancy. Sadly, the father died. The mother succeeded … Read the full post

Any answers?

The April edition of Legal Action brings news that Hurst v UK has settled. As will be seen from the ECtHR’s Statement of Facts and Questions to the Parties Hurst involved a secure tenant who murdered a neighbour, the applicant’s son, during the course of possession proceedings. Ms Hurst brought proceedings in the domestic courts, which reached their conclusion in R (Hurst) v London Northern District Coroner [2007] UKHL 13; [2007] 2 AC 189. Those proceedings were concerned with the duties of a coroner, particularly where the death had occurred before the Human Rights Act 1998 had come into force.

Ms Hurst had also commenced civil proceedings against the police … Read the full post

Occupy LSX update

As you may well have seen in the news, the Corporation of London was granted a possession order and injunction against the tents and camp of Occupy LSX in the churchyard area outside St Paul’s Cathedral by the High Court on Wednesday 18 January. The judgment is on the Judiciary website here.

We’ll have a note on the judgment shortly, but the main finding was that, given the Corporation’s right to possession, the interference with the protestors’ Article 10 and 11 rights was justified and proportionate in view of the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others, including public passers-by, St Paul’s Cathedral, church-goers and businesses in … Read the full post

Money can’t buy you everything

Sun Street Properties Ltd v Persons Unknown [2011] EWHC (Ch), [2011] All ER (D) 72 (Dec) [no transcript available yet]

Or, what the hell is going on about Occupy/Bank of Ideas and the property owned by Union Bank of Switzerland. As you probably noticed, on 18 November 2011, an empty property in the City was occupied by a group connected with the OccupyLSX camp outside St Paul’s. The property was ultimately owned by the UBS, the ones who allegedly just lost some $2.3 billion through a rogue trader.

At the time, I predicted that UBS (or rather their subsidiary, Sun Street Properties Ltd) would go for an interim possession order … Read the full post