Social tenant retains tenancy despite temporary move of five years

Monday 29 July 2013

A woman who moved-out temporarily while a council repaired her home still holds her tenancy eight years later, the Court of Appeal rules.

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Ms Caroline Francis had lived in a council flat for over 20 years. It was in poor repair and she was asked to move out temporarily while the council did remedial works. She entered into a "decant agreement" recognising her tenancy of the flat but meanwhile giving her the tenancy of another temporary home. The works took five years. When they were finished, the council refused to let Ms Francis move back in and let her home to someone else.

The local county court decided that Ms Francis had lost the tenancy of her old home decades earlier (in 1991) because of an old possession order for rent arrears and that the decant agreement made no difference. The Court of Appeal reversed that decision and held that Ms Francis is still the tenant of her old home.

In the Court of Appeal Jan Luba QC and Gillian Ackland-Vincent represented Ms Francis. They were instructed by Edwards Duthie Solicitors.

For the judgment, click here.

Jan Luba QC is a member of the Garden Court Housing Team.

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