The tenant had been secure but had his tenancy had been reduced to an insecure demoted tenancy after he was accused of anti-social behaviour. He had not himself been accused of any misbehaviour, but it was said that he should have controlled his family members. The county court had been unwilling to allow any challenge to the council’s conclusions on the facts, and the Court of Appeal had restricted its role further.
Held: The tenant’s appeal succeeded as to the law, but the Court rejected the appeal on the facts.
Section 143D(2) should be read as allowing the court to exercise the powers which are necessary to consider and, where appropriate, to give effect to, any article 8 defence which the defendant raises in the possession proceedings.
The decisions of the ECHR conflicted with decisions of the House of Lords. Jurisprudence had already established that: 1) Any person at risk of being dispossessed of his home at the suit of a local authority should in principle have the right to raise the question of the proportionality of the measure, and to have it determined by an independent tribunal in the light of article 8, even if his right of occupation under domestic law has come to an end, and 2) A judicial procedure which is limited to addressing the proportionality of the measure through the medium of traditional judicial review (i e, one which does not permit the court to make its own assessment of the facts in an appropriate case) is inadequate as it is not appropriate for resolving sensitive factual issues, and 3) Where the measure includes proceedings involving more than one stage, it is the proceedings as a whole which must be considered in order to see if article 8 has been complied with, and 4) If the court concludes that it would be disproportionate to evict a person from his home notwithstanding the fact that he has no domestic right to remain there, it would be unlawful to evict him so long as the conclusion obtains.
Before making a demotion order, the court must consider for itself the factual basis for making such an order. Moreover, the court can only make such an order once it is satisfied (a) that the facts which it investigates and determines justify the order under section 82A(4)(a), and (b) that it is reasonable to make the order under section 82A(4)(b). After demotion, onceaccepted that it is open to a demoted tenant to seek judicial review of a landlord’s decision to bring and continue possession proceedings, then it inevitably follows that it is open to a tenant to challenge that decision on the ground that it would be disproportionate and therefore contrary to article 8. Furthermore, if the procedure laid down in section 143E or 143F has not been lawfully complied with, either because the express requirements of that section have not been observed or because the rules of natural justice have been infringed, the tenant should be able to raise that as a defence to a possession claim under section 143D(2).
Lord Phillips, President, Lord Hope, Deputy President, Lord Rodger, Lord Walker, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Mance, Lord Neuberger, Lord Collins
 UKSC 45, UKSC 2009/0180,  WLR (D) 278,  HLR 7,  1 All ER 285,  3 WLR 1441,  PTSR 61,  BLGR 909,  45 EG 93,  NPC 109
Bailii, SC Summary, SC, WLRD, Bailii Summary
Housing Act 1985 84, Housing Act 1996 143D(2), Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, European Convention on Human Rights 8
England and Wales
Appeal from – Manchester City Council v Pinnock CA 31-Jul-2009
The court considered the status in law of ‘demoted tenants’, those who had been secure social housing tenants, but who had only limited security after being found to have behaved anti-socially. The tenant had been refused an opportunity by the . .
Cited – Wandsworth 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 . .
Cited – London 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 . .
Cited – Kay And Others v United Kingdom ECHR 21-Sep-2010
(Fourth Section) After carefully considering the various views expressed in the House of Lords in Kay v Lambeth  2 AC 465 and Doherty v Birmingham  1 AC 367, and the relevant decisions of the Court of Appeal, the EurCtHR stated, at paras . .
Cited – Cosic 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 . .
Cited – Connors 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 . .
Cited – Paulic 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.
Cited – Zehentner 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 . .
Cited – Blecic v Croatia ECHR 29-Jul-2004
The applicant had for many years before 1992 had a protected tenancy of a publicly-owned flat in Zadar. Under Croatian law a specially-protected tenancy might be terminated if the tenant ceased to occupy the flat for a continuous period of six . .
Cited – McCann v The United Kingdom ECHR 9-Sep-2008
The local authority had determined Mr McCann’s right to remain in his home by obtaining from his wife a notice to quit, the effect of which (surrendering their joint tenancy) upon him she did not understand. He said that this interfered with his . .
Cited – Doherty 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 . .
Cited – Kay 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 . .
Cited – Pyx Granite Ltd v Ministry of Housing and Local Government HL 1959
There is a strong presumption that Parliament will not legislate to prevent individuals affected by legal measures promulgated by executive public bodies having a fair opportunity to challenge these measures and to vindicate their rights in court . .
Disapproved in part – Manchester City Council v Cochrane and Cochrane CA 21-Dec-1998
The tenants held an introductory tenancy under the Act. The council sought possession, after giving notice, and after its review under the Act. The tenants objected, but the Council denied the right of the County Court to hear the objection, arguing . .
Cited – Regina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 17-Jun-2004
The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious . .
Cited – Salford City Council v Mullen CA 30-Mar-2010
The court considered the status of decisions to commence proceedings for possession by local authorities against tenants not protected under any statutory scheme. The tenants, on introductory tenancies and under the homelessness regime, argued that . .
Cited – Horncastle and Others, Regina v SC 9-Dec-2009
Each defendant said they had not received a fair trial in that the court had admitted written evidence of a witness he had not been allowed to challenge. The witnesses had been victims, two of whom had died before trial. It was suggested that the . .
See Also – Manchester City Council v Pinnock SC 9-Feb-2011
The council tenant had wished to appeal following a possession order made after her tenancy had been demoted. The court handed down a supplemental judgment to give effect to its earlier decision. The Court had been asked ‘whether article 8 of the . . .
Applied – London Borough of Hounslow v Powell, Leeds City Council v Hall etc SC 23-Feb-2011
In each case the tenant occupied the property as his home, but was not a secure tenant of the local authority. The Court was asked whether, in granting a possession order in such a case, the court was obliged to consider the proportionality of the . .
Cited – GC v The Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis SC 18-May-2011
The court was asked to decide from whom DNA samples could lawfully be taken by the Police,and for how long they should be kept. The first respondent now said that a declaration of incompatibility of section 64(1A) could not be avoided.
Held: . .
Cited – Kennedy v The Charity Commission SC 26-Mar-2014
The claimant journalist sought disclosure of papers acquired by the respondent in its conduct of enquiries into the charitable Mariam appeal. The Commission referred to an absolute exemption under section 32(2) of the 2000 Act, saying that the . .
Cited – Akerman-Livingstone v Aster Communities Ltd SC 11-Mar-2015
Appeal about the proper approach of the courts where the defendant to a claim for possession of his home raises a defence of unlawful discrimination, contrary to the Equality Act 2010, by the claimant landlord. In particular, the issue is whether . .
Cited – Hallam, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 30-Jan-2019
These appeals concern the statutory provisions governing the eligibility for compensation of persons convicted of a criminal offence where their conviction is subsequently quashed (or they are pardoned) because of the impact of fresh evidence. It . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Housing, Human Rights
Updated: 01 January 2022; Ref: scu.425744