Our thanks to the Housing: Recent Developments team in the July/August Legal Action for notes on these two cases.
Lambeth LBC v Casey County Court at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch, 5 June 2019
Ms C had succeeded to the tenancy of a two bedroom flat. Lambeth brought possession proceedings under grounds 13 (property designed to make it suitable for occupation by a physically disabled person) and 15A (property more extensive than reasonably required).
On ground 15A, Ms C argued that she used the second bedroom to look after her cousin’s son and intended to foster children in the near future.
The court accepted this, both the current occupation by her cousin’s son and her genuine intention to foster. The property was not more extensive than reasonably required.
On ground 13, Lambeth argued that the property, by having a wet room, low kitchen units and high electrical sockets, was substantially different from an ordinary dwelling house, and designed for occupation by a physically disabled person.
The court did not accept this. There was no evidence of high electrical sockets or low kitchen units being present, and the wet room doorway prevented access by a physically disabled person using a wheelchair.
Lambeth LBC v Greenland County Court at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch, 1 April 2019
Ms G is Lambeth’s secure tenant. She was subject to a suspended possession order that prevented her son (J) from returning to the property, after a shotgun and class A drugs were found under J’s bed.
Following J’s release from prison, Lambeth alleged that a number of instances of ASB on Ms G’s estate were the responsibility of J and that J had been at the property. Lambeth applied for a warrant for eviction.
Ms G admitted that J had attended the property for 4 days, and that this was a breach of the SPO, but denied J was responsible for any ASB.
The warrant application was refused. The anonymous hearsay evidence relied on by Lambeth did not establish that J had been responsible for the anti-social behaviour. The admission by Ms G that he had been at the property for 4 days was not sufficient for a warrant.