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Pinnock: Newsflash

By J

The judgment is out. Full post is coming later, but the key points are:

(a) a claim by a public authority for possession requires a domestic court to be able to consider the proportionality of the eviction and resolve factual disputes for itself and the court may refuse to make an order or postpone/suspend it for a period of time (at [21], [45], [49])

(b) the court must consider the Art 8 defence if raised and it is not just in “highly exceptional” cases that such a defence might be raised; the real question is whether the eviction is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate end (at [52])

(c) in most cases, the right/duty of the LA to manage and distribute its housing stock will provide sufficient justification; the desire to remove a nuisance neighbour is a suitable justification (at [52]-[54]) (this, presumably, is a reference to s.21, HA 1985 and Pt 6/7, HA 1996; what about PRPSH though, who have no such statutory rights/duties?);

(d) it is a “given”  that an authority does not have to plead and prove proportionality unless they want to ([53]);

(e) it is an “exceptional” case where Art 8 would “even arguably” create a right to remain in possession where the applicant had no right to remain in domestic law (at [45], [53])

(f) implications for the private sector are left open (at [4], [50])

(g) demoted tenancies are compatible with Art 8 as the court is empowered to decide proportionality for itself; s.143D should be read to cover a right to raise such matters in the county court (discussion ending at [74]);

(i) the reasons for seeking possession against a demoted tenant are not limited to breaches of the tenancy agreement or repeated behaviour of the sort previously proved (at [106]);

(j) it is only in “highly exceptional” cases that Art. 8 will add anything when possession of a demoted tenancy is sought; the Art. 8 rights of the occupier were adequately protected by the hearing that made the demotion order (at [107])

Appeal dismissed on the facts.

More, much more, to come later. [Edit: our full post is now up, so please drop by and comment there.]

J is a barrister. He considers housing law to be the single greatest kind of law known to humankind and finds it very odd that so few people share this view.

1 Comment

  1. S

    “[130]… The fact that Mr Pinnock may not be responsible for the incidents is not of great significance: the
    order for possession was not sought or made to punish him. The fact that there may be other remedies to deal with the children is also of little force: rather than seeking ASBOs or ASBIs to keep them out of the vicinity, it is scarcely irrational or disproportionate to decide to remove their parents, whom they undoubtedly visit, even if (which is an unresolved issue) they do not live with them.”

    That paragraph is going to be quoted an awful lot by landlords in ASB possession claims.


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