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Suspended possession orders and insolvency: request for info


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  • it is based on the concept of the tolerated trespasser which is no longer applicable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?

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.


  1. J

    Presumably it’ll be heard with North British Housing v Sharples – [2010] EWCA Civ 539, available on casetrack.

  2. J

    A2 is now on casetrack: [2010] EWCA Civ 941


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