Allocations Part 3: succession

Wednesday 31 August 2016

R (Jack Jones) v Luton Borough Council [2016] EWHC 2036 (Admin), 3 August 2016. In May 2015, JJ’s father passed away. Luton swiftly served a notice to quit bringing the subsisting contractual tenancy to an end. JJ then applied to Luton for a tenancy of the property relying on the provisions of Luton’s allocation scheme dealing with ‘non-successors’.

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R (Jack Jones) v Luton Borough Council [2016] EWHC 2036 (Admin), 3 August 2016

In 1997 the claimant’s mother and father were granted a joint tenancy of 33 Duncombe Close, Luton by the defendant, Luton Borough Council. The property had two bedrooms. The claimant, JJ, who was 14 at the time, moved into the property with his parents.

In 2011, JJ entered into a civil partnership with PT. JJ and PT jointly cared for JJ’s mother, who was terminally ill with lung cancer, and his father, at the property. JJ’s mother passed away in 2012 and his father became the sole tenant of the property by survivorship.

In March 2015, PT’s brother JT – who himself had a number of health problems – moved into the property too.

In May 2015, JJ’s father passed away. Luton swiftly served a notice to quit bringing the subsisting contractual tenancy to an end.

JJ then applied to Luton for a tenancy of the property relying on the provisions of Luton’s allocation scheme dealing with ‘non-successors’ i.e. members of a former tenant’s household who had no statutory right to succeed to the tenancy.

Luton refused to grant JJ a tenancy of the property but, in view of his personal circumstances and the care he had provided to his parents, offered a tenancy of a one-bed property to JJ and PT. In reaching this decision Luton took the view that JT was not a ‘relevant member of the household’.

JJ sought judicial review of the decision arguing, among other things, that Luton had failed to adequately consider JJ, PT and JT’s rights under Article 8 ECHR.

Mr Ter Haar QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) rejected the claim. On the evidence, Luton had been entitled to conclude that JT was not a dependent member of JJ’s family or a member of the household. As such, the decision was one which was open to Luton on the facts.

Click here for the judgment.

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