Pirabakaran v Patel & Anor  EWCA Civ 685 (26 May 2006)
In a landmark ruling earlier today, the Court of Appeal delivered a welcome boost to the rights of shopkeepers who live above their shops. Very many small shopkeepers hold their shop and the flat above it on a combined lease allowing them both to run the shop and to live above it. Tens of thousands of retail outlets are held under such leases. Until now, landlords have been able to forfeit these leases - as soon as rent is unpaid - by sending in the bailiffs to lock up the shop. The Court of Appeal has today decided that the bailiffs cannot go in unless and until the landlords first get a court order. This will prevent shopkeepers from losing their shops and their leases in summary evictions. Bailiff evictions where there is a flat above the shop must now end. The successful tenant was represented by Jan Luba QC of the Housing Team at Garden Court Chambers.