2014 12 Housing

Thursday 1 January 2015

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Lambeth LBC v Harry Loveridge [2014] UKSC 65 (Lord Neuberger, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath and Lord Toulson): an unlawful eviction case. On the true construction of s28 Housing Act 1988, where a Local Authority has unlawfully evicted a secure tenant from residential accommodation, in assessing the damages payable under s27 of the Act, the fact that the secure tenancy would become an assured tenancy if the property were sold to a private landlord should not be factored into the hypothetical valuation of the landlord’s interest subject to the tenant’s right to occupy. Jan Luba QC appeared for Mr Loveridge. Click here for the judgment.

R (Turley) v Wandsworth LBC [2014] EWHC 4040 (Admin) (Knowles J): Mr Doyle was the secure tenant of the Defendant, Wandsworth LBC. He resided at a flat in Battersea Park Road, London. His tenancy was granted prior to 1 April 2012 and was therefore subject to the provisions of the Housing Act 1985 prior to its amendment by the Localism Act 2011 which came into force on that date. Ms Turley, the Claimant, was the long-term partner of Mr Doyle. Together with their four children, they had lived together at the flat since 1995 save for a period between December 2010 and January 2012 when, owing to a temporary breakdown in the couple’s relationship, Mr Doyle lived elsewhere. In January 2012 the relationship was restored and Mr Doyle moved back to the flat. In March 2012, following a period of illness, Mr Doyle died. Under s87 Housing Act 1985 (since superseded in relation to secure tenancies in England by s86A Housing Act 1985, inserted by the Localism Act 2011) Ms Turley was not entitled to succeed to Mr Doyle’s tenancy. Though she had lived with him ‘as husband and wife’, they has not resided together ‘throughout the period of twelve months ending with the tenant’s death’. Had Ms Turley and Mr Doyle been married, the position would have been otherwise: the twelve-month residency requirement would not have applied. Ms Turley sought judicial review, arguing that the legislation discriminated as between couples who were in a marriage or civil partnership and those who were not, and was thereby incompatible with her rights under Art.8 ECHR read with Art.14. Knowles J dismissed the application. Assuming without deciding that the partner of a deceased secure tenant was in an analogous position to the spouse or civil partner of a deceased secure tenant, the differential treatment was justified. Click here for the judgment.

Charalambous and Karali v Ng [2014] EWCA Civ 1604 (Black, Lewison and King LJJ): validity of s21 notice. On 20 August 2002, Mr Charalambous and Ms Karali were granted an assured shorthold tenancy of 14 Sapphire Court, Spitalfields by Ms Ng. The tenancy was for a fixed term of one year. A deposit of £1,560 was taken. The tenancy was renewed in 2003 and 2004, for a further year on each occasion. The deposit was retained and carried over by way of security under the new tenancies. The last of the fixed term tenancies came to an end on 17 August 2005, and the tenancy became statutory periodic thereafter. On 17 October 2012 Mrs Ng served notice under s21 Housing Act 1988 requiring possession of the property to be given after 17 December 2012. The deposit, which had been held by Ms Ng throughout, had never been placed in a tenancy deposit scheme. Ms Ng sought possession. A possession order was made at first instance. The Court of Appeal allowed the tenants’ appeal. Despite the fact that the deposit had been taken and the tenancy had become periodic prior to the coming into force of ss213-215 Housing Act 2004, s215(1)(a) precluded reliance on a s21 Housing Act 1988 notice at any time when a deposit was ‘not being held in accordance with an authorised scheme’. The deposit in this instance was not being held in accordance with such a scheme. Therefore the notice was invalid. Click here for the judgment.

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