We’ve been told that on 29 July 2010, the tenant appellant in Godfrey v A2 Dominion North Ltd was granted permission to appeal. Quite what permission has been given is less clear – our source says Court of Appeal, but the case was elsewhere listed as being before a High Court judge. Can anyone clear this up?
[Edit: confirmed by Hardwicke Chambers as being Court of Appeal, permission by Rimer LJ]
What is at issue is whether a suspended possession order should be made when the rent arrears have been included in a debt relief order pursuant to the Insolvency Act.
The tenant apparently argued that “a ‘remedy in regard of debt’ in the terms of the Insolvency Act cannot include a suspended possession order as the purpose of an SPO is to enable payment of the arrears”. Further the existence of a debt relief order must be relevant to the question of whether it is reasonable to make a possession order in the first place. These were not arguments raised in Harlow v Hall, which should be distinguished on its own facts as:
- it is based on the concept of the tolerated trespasser which is no longer applicable
- the comments on a possession order post-bankruptcy were obiter
- Harlow v Hall pre-dated the rent arrears pre-action protocol
Obviously we like to know more about this case – transcript anyone?