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Permission and costs

By J

Cockett v Moore [2011] EWCA Civ 493 (Casetrack only; noted on the GC Bulletin).

The Court of Appeal has refused permission to appeal in this costs dispute. Mr Moore was the tenant of Ms Cockett in a one bed flat. There appear to have been a series of tenancy agreements and, at times, a romantic relationship. The claim was for possession and alleged arrears of rent. The proceedings were defended (with a counterclaim) on a variety of grounds, including alleged beneficial ownership by Mr Moore.

A possession order was subsequently made (and was never challenged). The rent arrears claim was adjourned for about 6 months. Shortly before the claim came back on, Mr Moore admitted a sum of rent arrears. The trial judge then: (i) gave judgment for the admitted arrears; (ii) dismissed the other rent arrears; (iii) dismissed the counterclaim. Mr Moore was ordered to pay 90% of the costs.

Mr Moore appealed (somewhat out of time), contending that he had won the case. That, as Hughes LJ said, was “simply wrong”. He won part of the rent-arrears dispute but had lost two very substantial parts of the case. The point he won on was a relatively small one and (it appears) the other parts of the case (the ones he lost) were the more significant parts of the case (although Mr Moore disputed that). There was, however, no realistic prospect of the Court of Appeal interfering with the order.



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.


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