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23/11/2006

Assured tenant or trespasser? The waiting begins.

On the vexed question of whether a breach of an old style Suspended Possession Order ended an assured tenancy and left a tolerated trespasser, we now have two first level decisions: Stan v Stadium HA at Willesden CC and Knowsley HT v White at Liverpool CC. There are no full reports yet that I’ve seen, but there are mentions here (pdf) and here amongst others. Helpfully, the decisions appear to be complete opposites, Stan says tenancy continues on breach (presumably to eviction) and Knowsley apparently says tenancy ends on breach.

Knowsley v White is apparently heading to the Court of Appeal, which should settle matters. I only hope the Court takes the opportunity to clarify whether assured tenants also fell victim to the Harlow v Hall N28 effect, regardless of breach. If the judgement sets out that the tenancy ends on the date of possession, then there will be many ‘innocent’ ex-assured tolerated trespassers as well as ex-secure ones.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

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