Helby v Rafferty: CA 1979

The court declined to hold that a man who had lived with a woman tenant for five years before her death were part of the same family because they had deliberately opted to retain their formal independence and they had not been recognised as being married: ‘but, be that as it may, it seems to me that this court has, by a majority, decided that a woman who has had a sufficiently permanent relationship with a man over a period of years, but has not been married to him, may, nonetheless, have acquired the status of a member of that man’s family. Accordingly, logically it can be argued – and one sees the force of the argument- that if in such circumstances that applies so as to enable a woman to become a statutory tenant by succession of a man, so in similar circumstances it should equally apply to enable a man to become a statutory tenant by succession of a woman . . that being so, it seems to me it must be a question of fact and degree in each case – whether a sufficient state of permanence has been reached so that the surviving party can fairly be said in all the circumstances to be a member of the original tenant’s family . . the case was obviously fully and carefully argued before him [the judge] and he, for the reasons which appear in his judgment, expressed the view that the necessary degree of permanence in this particular relationship had not been shown; and he accordingly held that the defendant could not be and was not a statutory tenant by succession.’
Roskill LJ
[1979] 1 WLR 13
Rent Act 1977
England and Wales
Confined to its factsDyson Holdings Ltd v Fox CA 17-Oct-1975
The defendant had lived with the tenant for 21 years until his death. They were unmarried and had no children. Reversing the County Court judge, the Court of Appeal ruled that she was a member of his family. It was absurd to distinguish between two . .

Cited by:
CitedFitzpatrick v Sterling Housing Association Ltd HL 28-Oct-1999
Same Sex Paartner to Inherit as Family Member
The claimant had lived with the original tenant in a stable and long standing homosexual relationship at the deceased’s flat. After the tenant’s death he sought a statutory tenancy as a spouse of the deceased. The Act had been extended to include as . .
CitedNutting v Southern Housing Group Ltd ChD 21-Dec-2004
The deceased tenant and the appellant had lived together in a violent alcoholic homosexual relationship. The appellant had claimed to have succeeded to the tenancy on his partner’s death. The authority said the relationship had been at an end, and . .
CitedNML Capital Ltd v Argentina SC 6-Jul-2011
The respondent had issued bonds but in 2001 had declared a moratorium on paying them. The appellant hedge fund later bought the bonds, heavily discounted. Judgment was obtained in New York, which the appellants now sought to enforce against assets . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 July 2021; Ref: scu.215905