Bristol City Council v Hassan and Glastonbury: CA 23 May 2006

The council had obtained possession orders for two properties from secure tenants, but the orders were suspended for so long as rent arrears were being discharged. The judges had understood that a date must appear on the possession order.
Held: McPhail suggested that ‘whereas as against squatters owners of land who obtained an order for possession were entitled to enforce it immediately, in the case of a former tenant the courts had a power (but not a duty) to fix a date for possession, thereby postponing the effect of the order, although courts would not in practice postpone the effect of the order for a period longer than six weeks.’, but the Housing Act now applied. The judges had unduly fettered their own discretion in understanding that they had a duty to fix a date. The court suggested a form of order which would avoid the so called tolerated trespasser situation arising. The court could order a tenant to give up possession on a date to be fixed by the court on an application by the landlord, not to be made so long as the tenant paid the current rent and the regular periodic payments towards arrears, etc required by the order and to be determined (wherever possible) on the papers without a hearing.

Brooke LJ VP, Dyson LJ, Jacob LJ
[2006] 1 WLR 2582, [2006] EWCA Civ 656, Times 17-Jul-2006, Gazette 08-Jun-2006
Housing Act 1985 85
England and Wales
CitedMcPhail v Persons, Names Unknown CA 1973
The court was asked to make an order against persons unknown in order to recover land. Although an owner of land which was being occupied by squatters was entitled to take the remedy into his own hand, he was encouraged to go to a common law court . .
CitedAmerican Economic Laundry Ltd v Little CA 1950
An unconditional order for possession was made against a statutory tenant under the Rent Acts, and execution of the order was then suspended by the court from time to time pursuant to powers contained in s 5(2). The court distinguished between an . .
CitedLondon Borough of Lambeth and Hyde Southbank Ltd v O’Kane, Helena Housing Ltd CA 28-Jul-2005
In each case the authority had obtained an order for possession of the tenanted properties, but the court had suspended the possession orders. The tenants had therefore now become ‘tolerated trespassers’. They now claimed that they had again become . .
CitedSherrin v Brand CA 1956
The landlord had obtained a possession order against his secure tenant. The order was suspended, but the landlord then failed to enforce the order after the date and when the tenant had failed to comply with the terms of the suspension. The tenant . .
CitedThompson v Elmbridge Borough Council CA 1987
The wife was the secure tenant of the premises, against whom the local authority landlord obtained a possession order on grounds of arrears of rent, not to be enforced on payment of a weekly sum off the arrears in addition to what the order . .
CitedHarlow District Council v Hall CA 28-Feb-2006
The defendant had been subject to a possession order in respect of his secure tenancy. He was later adjudged bankrupt. He asserted that the bankruptcy specifically prevented other action to enforce the debt, and the suspended possession order was . .
CitedMarshall v Bradford Metropolitan District Council CA 27-Apr-2001
There were three issues; (1) whether it was proper for the judge to have struck out disrepair proceedings when it could be seen that an application to discharge or rescind a suspended possession order would be likely to succeed (2) whether the . .
CitedManchester City Council v Finn CA 2002
The court was concerned with the ‘secure’ tenancy regime and the proper approach to the 1985 Act. The court took a ‘purposive approach’ in considering whether to allow the making of an amendment to a conditional possession order on the basis of new . .
CitedSheffield City Council v Hopkins CA 19-Jun-2001
A possession order was granted against a secure tenant by the court for arrears of rent. The tenant then applied to suspend the order, and the landlord opposed that application wishing to put before the court additional allegations.
Held: . .
CitedSt Brice and Another v Southwark London Borough Council CA 17-Jul-2001
The council having obtained a possession order, suspended on terms, through court proceedings, later sought to enforce the order by a warrant for possession issued without first giving notice to the tenant. The tenant alleged that the grant of the . .

Cited by:
CitedWhite v Knowsley Housing Trust and Another CA 2-May-2007
The tenant was an assured tenant. She fell into arrears of rent and a possession order was made, but suspended on terms. The court considered whether she continued to be an assured tenant, and could assert a right to buy the property as an assured . .
CitedJones v London Borough of Merton CA 16-Jun-2008
The court was asked ‘If a former secure tenant of a dwelling-house who has become a ‘tolerated trespasser’ in it decides to cease to occupy it, does his liability to pay mesne profits to his former landlord in respect of the dwelling-house cease . .
CitedKnowsley Housing Trust v White; Honeygan-Green v London Borough of Islington; Porter v Shepherds Bush Housing Association HL 10-Dec-2008
The House considered situations where a secure or assured tenancy had been made subject to a suspended possession order and where despite the tenant failing to comply with the conditions, he had been allowed to continue in occupation.
Held: . .
CitedAustin v Mayor and Burgesses of The London Borough of Southwark SC 23-Jun-2010
The appellant’s brother had been the secure tenant of the respondent Council which had in 1987 obtained an order for possession for rent arrears suspended on condition. The condition had not been complied with, but the brother had continued to live . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.242146