Succession in secure tenancies – House of Lords

An eminently sensible House of Lords decision today in Birmingham CC -v- Walker [2007] UKHL 22, maintaining the sensible Court of Appeal decision ([2006] 1 WLR 2641).

At issue was whether a transmission or change of a tenancy in one of the forms set out in Housing Act 1980, s.88.1 as constituing a succession counted as such if it had occurred prior to the 1980 Act – so before the tenancy became a secure tenancy. E.g, if a joint tenancy had become a sole tenancy, as in this case, prior to becoming a secure tenancy, did this count as the one succession allowable?

Working on the sensible basis that a) the 1980 Act wasn’t retrospective in changing the status of a change of tenancy and b) that the rules on succession only applied to secure tenancies and prior to 1980, the tenancy wasn’t secure, the House of Lords dismissed the appeal.

I’d admit to being a bit astonished that Birmingham CC took this to the House of Lords, but there we go.

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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