Harlow 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 such an enforcement.
Held: Where the terms of suspension were expressed so as to indicate that the order for possession took effect on a specified date, but execution was suspended on terms, the secure tenancy ended on the specified date, even if the terms of suspension were complied with. The secure tenancy had already come to an end by the time of the bankruptcy. The 1985 Act made a specific distinction between suspending execution of a possession order, and postponing the date for possession. The maintenance of the possession order was not an action against the property of the defendant. The possession order was not vitiated by the bankruptcy.
Lord Justice Chadwick, Chancellor, The Right Hon Sir Paul Kennedy
[2006] 1 WLR 2116, [2006] EWCA Civ 156, Times 15-Mar-2006, [2006] BPIR 712, [2006] HLR 27, [2006] 2 P and CR 16
Housing Act 1985 79, Insolvency Act 1986 285
England and Wales
CitedSmith (a bankrupt) v Braintree District Council HL 1989
The House considered the effects of bankruptcy on the imposition of a committal to imprisonment in default of paying rates.
The purpose of section 285 is to preserve the estate of the bankrupt for the benefit of his unsecured creditors.
CitedEzekiel v Orakpo CA 1977
A lease had been forfeited for non payment of rent. The lessor then took proceedings for possession. The tenant claimed that the action was invalid because a receiving order had been made against him in the meantime.
Held: The Court rejected . .
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 . .
CitedBurrows v Brent London Borough Council HL 31-Oct-1996
The authority had obtained a possession order from its secure tenant but then agreed to accept payments toward the arrears. The tenant applied for and was granted a declaration that she had on that agreement acquired a new tenancy. The authority . .

Cited by:
CitedBristol 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.
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 28 January 2021; Ref: scu.239849