London Borough of Lambeth v Vandra and others: CA 19 Dec 2005

The council had taken possession proceedings to evict their secure tenant for unlawful subletting. They appealed overturning of their possession order. The judge had found that two visits from a housing officer were inadequate to establish proof of subletting, or to move the burden of proof to the tenant in the absence of direct evidence.
Held: The council’s appeal succeeded. The district judge had made various findings of fact, including that there was nothing to show any occupation by the tenant, rooms were being used as individual occupations, with no central living room, and those present claimed to be paying rent to a third party: ‘the district judge was entitled to conclude that there was in this case an unlawful subletting. The fact that the explanations were not credible does not mean that there was a complete vacuum in relation to a subletting of the whole. As I mentioned earlier, a possible view of the evidence was that there was subletting of only part. But the fact that that was a possible inference does not make impossible the inference by the district judge that, taking all of the facts together and the lack of a credible explanation from Miss Vandra, it was reasonable to infer that there was a subletting of the whole. ‘


Mummery, Latham, Carnwath LJJ


[2005] EWCA Civ 1801




England and Wales


Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.238642