2012 09 Housing

Monday 1 October 2012

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Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council v Hickin [2012] UKSC 39 (Lord Hope, Deputy President, Lord Walker, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke and Lord Sumption): Mr and Mrs Hickin were joint secure tenants but they separated. Mrs Hickin remained in the house with her daughter but later Mrs Hickin died. The daughter claimed that she had succeeded to her mother's secure tenancy. Solihull considered that Mr Hickin was still the tenant of the property but because he was not living there, it was no longer a statutory a secure tenancy. His tenancy was determined by notice to quit and then Solihull brought a possession claim against the daughter. A possession order was made but on appeal, a circuit judge held that the daughter had succeeded and dismissed the possession claim. The Court of Appeal held that there could be no statutory succession. The daughter appealed. The Supreme Court by a majority of 3:2 dismissed the appeal. The Court held that when one joint tenant dies the tenancy becomes a tenancy held solely by the remaining tenant by survivorship, here that was Mr Hickin. It was irrelevant that he was no longer in occupation and his tenancy had been terminated by the notice to quit (click here for transcript).

The appellant was represented by Jan Luba QC.

R (on the application of JL) v Secretary of State for Defence and Leeds City Council (IP) [2012] EWHC 2216 (Admin) (Ingrid Simler QC): Although the High Court dismissed the claim on the facts the court held that proportionality challenges pursuant to Article 8 can be made in respect of enforcement of possession orders (no free transcript available yet but available on LAWTEL)

The Claimant was represented by David Watkinson.

Harrow Community Support Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence [2012] EWHC 1921 (Haddon – Cave J): The Claimant was the residents' association of a block of flats in East London where the Defendant proposed to place missile launchers on the roof of the block as part of security measures for the Olympic Games. The application for judicial review was based on (1) a failure to consult, (2) failure to comply with the public sector equality duty; and (3) breach of Article 8 and the 1st protocol. The High Court refused permission on the grounds that the claim was unarguable and had not been pursued promptly (click here for transcript).

The Claimant was represented by Marc Willers and Owen Greenhall (pupil barrister at Garden Court Chambers).

London Borough of Camden v Stafford [2012] EWCA Civ 839 (Maurice Kay, LJ and President, Etherton and Aikens LJs): The London Borough of Cadent gave notice to an introductory tenant seeking possession. The tenant applied for a review of the decision to seek possession. The reviewing panel upheld the notice but decided that alternative measures should be pursued instead of possession but the alternative measures failed. However without serving a further notice the London Borough of Camden brought a claim for possession. A first instance judge dismissed the claim as it was a condition for bringing a possession claim against an introductory tenant that, if there had been a review, the decision on review had to have confirmed the earlier decision to seek possession. It had not done so. On dismissing the appeal the Court of Appeal held that he reviewing panel had either confirmed the earlier decision without qualification or it had not. From the wording of the review decision letter there had not been an unqualified confirmation and it was not possible to make confirmation conditional. The court held that absent of unconditional confirmation the court had no jurisdiction to grant possession. (click here for transcript).

The Respondent was represented by Jan Luba QC

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