Akerman-Livingstone v Aster Communities Ltd: SC 11 Mar 2015

Appeal about the proper approach of the courts where the defendant to a claim for possession of his home raises a defence of unlawful discrimination, contrary to the Equality Act 2010, by the claimant landlord. In particular, the issue is whether the courts are entitled to take the same summary approach to such a defence, where the claimant is a social landlord, as they can normally take to a defence asserting that eviction by a public authority would breach the right to respect for the defendant’s home, which is protected by article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Held; A summary procedure should not normally be used when a disability discrimination defence was lodged. Such a defence was not to be conflated with a defence suggesting breach of the defendants article 8 rights

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President , Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson , Lord Hughes
[2015] UKSC 15, [2015] 3 All ER 725, [2015] 1 AC 1399, [2015] BLGR 765, [2015] WLR(D) 121, [2015] 2 WLR 721, [2015] HLR 20, UKSC 2014/0202
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, WLRD
Equality Act 2010
England and Wales
Appeal fromAster Communities Ltd v Akerman-Livingstone CA 30-Jul-2014
The respondent tenant had resisted possession proceedings on the basis of his disability.
Held: The court facing such a defence should treat it in the same way as it would an argument that the tenat’s article 8 Human rights were threatened. . .
CitedManchester City Council v Pinnock SC 3-Nov-2010
The tenant had been secure but had his tenancy had been reduced to an insecure demoted tenancy after he was accused of anti-social behaviour. He had not himself been accused of any misbehaviour, but it was said that he should have controlled his . .
CitedLondon Borough of Hounslow v Powell, Leeds City Council v Hall etc SC 23-Feb-2011
In each case the tenant occupied the property as his home, but was not a secure tenant of the local authority. The Court was asked whether, in granting a possession order in such a case, the court was obliged to consider the proportionality of the . .
CitedRegina v Oakes 28-Feb-1986
Supreme Court of Canada – Constitutional law — Charter of Rights — Presumption of innocence (s. 11(d)) — Reverse onus clause — Accused presumed to be trafficker on finding of possession of illicit drug — Onus on accused to rebut presumption — . .
CitedDe Freitas v The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Lands and Housing and others PC 30-Jun-1998
(Antigua and Barbuda) The applicant was employed as a civil servant. He joined a demonstration alleging corruption in a minister. It was alleged he had infringed his duties as a civil servant, and he replied that the constitution allowed him to . .
CitedSecretary of State for Defence v Elias CA 10-Oct-2006
The claimant said that a scheme drawn by the defendant for compensating British civilians interned by the Japanese during the second world war was indirectly discriminatory on racial grounds by requiring a national origin link with the UK. She had . .
CitedLondon Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm HL 25-Jun-2008
The tenant had left his flat and sublet it so as to allow the landlord authority an apparently unanswerable claim for possession. The authority appealed a finding that they had to take into account the fact that the tenant was disabled and make . .
CitedThurrock Borough Council v West CA 8-Nov-2012
The tenant had resisted the application for possession on the basis that it would amount to a disproportionate interference in his human rights. The council appealed.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The judge had erred in considering that the . .
CitedRegina v Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Secretary of State For Health, ex Parte Fedesa and Others ECJ 13-Nov-1990
ECJ 1. Community law – Principles – Legal certainty – Protection of legitimate expectations – Prohibition of the use in livestock farming of certain substances having a hormonal action in the absence of unanimity . .
CitedLondon Borough of Harrow v Qazi HL 31-Jul-2003
The applicant had held a joint tenancy of the respondent. His partner gave notice and left, and the property was taken into possession. The claimant claimed restoration of his tenancy saying the order did not respect his right to a private life and . .
CitedKay and Another v London Borough of Lambeth and others; Leeds City Council v Price and others and others HL 8-Mar-2006
In each case the local authority sought to recover possession of its own land. In the Lambeth case, they asserted this right as against an overstaying former tenant, and in the Leeds case as against gypsies. In each case the occupiers said that the . .
CitedDoherty and others v Birmingham City Council HL 30-Jul-2008
The House was asked ‘whether a local authority can obtain a summary order for possession against an occupier of a site which it owns and has been used for many years as a gipsy and travellers’ caravan site. His licence to occupy the site has come to . .
CitedBank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (No 2) SC 19-Jun-2013
The bank challenged measures taken by HM Treasury to restrict access to the United Kingdom’s financial markets by a major Iranian commercial bank, Bank Mellat, on the account of its alleged connection with Iran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic . .

Cited by:
CitedSecretary of State for Justice v Prospere EAT 30-Apr-2015
EAT Disability Discrimination: Reasonable Adjustments – Section 15
The Employment Tribunal erred in failing to decide the disability discrimination and reasonable adjustments claims on the basis of the . .
CitedFirstgroup Plc v Paulley SC 18-Jan-2017
The claimant wheelchair user alleged discrimination by the bus company. The space reserved for wheelchair users on a bus had been wrongly occupied by a passenger who refused to vacate the space. The claimant said that the bus driver should have . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Housing, Discrimination, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.544220