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Assorted notes: joint tenancies, RROs – rent arrears and late evidence, and disrepair damages periods


Pile v Pile (2022) EWHC 2036 (Ch)

The High Court confirms that Procter v Procter (2022) EWHC 1202 (Ch) is authority for the proposition that it is not a breach of trust for one joint tenant to give notice to quit on the joint tenancy, even where this is done for the purposes of obtaining a new sole tenancy for themselves alone.

in a case where a party is a trustee only by reason of their co-ownership with another joint tenant under a periodic tenancy (i.e., in the language of HHJ Davies-White QC in Procter, there is merely as “bare” trust for sale or trust of land), then the trustee is neither precluded from serving a notice to quit on the landlord nor precluded from doing so for the purpose of acquiring a new lease of the property for themselves.


Kowalek & Anor v Hassanein Ltd (2022) EWCA Civ 1041

The Court of Appeal confirmed that:

a) A rent repayment order may only be made in respect of rent actually paid during the period the offence was committed. Payments made after the offence had ceased to be committed do not count, even if paid in respect of rent due during the period of the offence; and

b) Rent arrears are ‘relevant conduct’ by the tenant for the assessment of how much a rent repayment order should be made for.


Cobb & Ors v Jahanghir (HOUSING – RENT REPAYMENT ORDER – application for rent repayment order by five joint tenants) (2022) UKUT 201 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal allowed an appeal of a FTT decision refusing an RRO application.. The FTT had taken too strict an approach to admitting late evidence from the applicants as to occupation of the property, particularly so where the landlord had admitted the offence, and the defence of reasonable excuse (reliance on an agent) had been dismissed. The FTT had taken an overly formulaic approach and

The appellants were advised by unqualified lay representatives who failed to take proper instructions and who delayed in correcting errors.

The rule 13 costs orders made against the tenants and their representative separately by the FTT were set aside.


Khan v Mehmood (No. 2 Costs) (2022) EWCA Civ 1075

Following on from Khan v Mehmood (2022) EWCA Civ 791 (our note), the Court of Appeal had to make a decision on what the period for damages for the tenant’s disrepair claim should be, after its previous decision that it could not be from the start of the tenant’s occupation.

The judge below had allowed for a two month ‘grace period’ for the rectification of defects before damages began to accrue. The Court of Appeal had removed 4 years from the period for damages, to the start of the tenancy agreement in March 2011. However, there was no reason to interfere with the first instance judge’s view that a two month ‘grace period’ applied, so damages ran from May 2011. The tenant’s argument that repairs could and should have been done before the start date of the tenancy had not been argued below or at the appeal hearing.

There were also various decisions on the costs of appeal.


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.


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