Coombes, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Another: Admn 8 Mar 2010

The landlord council brought proceedings for possession. The tenant (C) had remained in possession after his mother’s death, but enjoyed no second statutory succession. He had lived there since 1954 when he was six. C sought a declaration of incompatibility in respect of section 3 of the 1977 Act, saying that it disallowed any consideration of his personal circumstances.
Held: The declaration could not be made. Section 3 of the 1977 Act only acted to prevent possession being given without a court order. The need to go to court cannot be incompatible with Article 8.
As to the way the court rules applied, there was some conflict between the ECHR jurisdiction and the decisions of the House of Lords in Kay and Docherty that the availability of gateways (a) (cases beyond the boundary of democratic solutions to the problems of allocating scarce public housing) and (b) (which enables personal circumstances to matter but only through a review of the decision-making of the council property owner) to challenge possession proceedings is sufficient to render them compatible with Article 8. The latter decisions were binding on this court.

Cranston J
[2010] EWHC 666 (Admin), [2010] 2 All ER 940, [2010] 11 EG 120, [2010] BLGR 514
Bailii, Times
Protection from Eviction Act 1977 3, European Convention on Human Rights 8
England and Wales
CitedWandsworth London Borough Council v Winder HL 1985
Rent demands were made by a local authority landlord on one of its tenants. The local authority, using its powers under the Act, resolved to increase rents generally. The tenant refused to pay the increased element of the rent. He argued that the . .
CitedPoplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association Ltd v Donoghue CA 27-Apr-2001
The defendant resisted accelerated possession proceedings brought for rent arrears under his assured shorthold tenancy, by a private housing association who was a successor to a public authority.
Held: Once the human rights issue was raised, . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedConnors v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-May-2004
The applicant gypsies had initially been permitted to locate their caravan on a piece of land owned by a local authority, but their right of occupation was brought to an end because the local authority considered that they were committing a . .
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 . .
CitedHammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk HL 5-Dec-1991
One tenant of two joint tenants of a house left and was granted a new tenancy on condition that the existing one of the house, still occupied by her former partner, was determined. She gave a notice to quit as requested, the council claimed . .
CitedMichalak v London Borough of Wandsworth CA 6-Mar-2002
The appellant had occupied for a long time a room in a house let by the authority. After the death of the tenant, the appellant sought, but was refused, a statutory tenancy. He claimed to be a member of the tenant’s family, and that the list of . .
CitedRegina (Gangera) v London Borough of Hounslow Admn 2003
The claimant challenged the Act as being an unlawful discrimination.
Held: The 1985 Act in allowing only one succession to a secure tenancy found a proper balance between the needs of the tenant’s family and the duty of a local housing . .
CitedBradney, Birmingham City Council v Birmingham City Council, McCann CA 9-Dec-2003
Birmingham Council had granted H and W a joint secure tenancy of a three-bedroom home. The marriage broke down and W left with the two children. She obtained a non-molestation order and an ouster order against him. H tried to force his way into the . .
CitedMcCann v The United Kingdom ECHR 13-May-2008
The applicant and his wife were secure joint tenants of a house of a local authority under section 82. Their marriage broke down, and the applicant’s wife moved out of the house with the two children of the marriage. She returned after obtaining a . .
CitedPaulic v Croatia ECHR 22-Oct-2009
The State re-acquired a former Yugoslavian Army flat and brought a civil action seeking the applicant’s eviction on the basis that he never obtained a specially protected tenancy under domestic law. The Croatian court ordered his eviction.
CitedDonegan v Dublin City Council and Others 8-May-2008
(High Court of Ireland) The council had sought possession of its tenant. The agreement contained a clause allowing the council to terminate on four-weeks’ notice. It said the tenant’s son misused drugs. Section 62 of the Housing Act 1966 established . .
CitedDublin City Council v Gallagher 11-Nov-2008
(High Court of Ireland) The defendant’s son claimed that he sought to succeed to a tenancy on his mother’s death. The council rejected the claim and served him with proceedings under Section 62 of the Housing Act 1966 to recover possession. The . .
CitedZehentner v Austria ECHR 16-Jul-2009
ECHR The applicant’s apartment was subject to a judicial sale for non-payment of debt. She was ill, and did not participate in the sale. The local law had time limits for challenging a judicial sale, designed to . .
CitedCosic v Croatia ECHR 15-Jan-2009
The applicant teacher was provided a flat by her school, which it in had leased from the Yugoslavian Army. That lease expired in 1990. She remained, paying rent to the school. Ultimately the Croatian State, which had assumed ownership of Yugoslavian . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Housing

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.408625