There were three issues; (1) whether it was proper for the judge to have struck out disrepair proceedings when it could be seen that an application to discharge or rescind a suspended possession order would be likely to succeed (2) whether the secure tenancy revived automatically once it could be seen that the suspended possession order was under its own terms no longer enforceable and (3) whether the district council had waived any right to rely upon the tenants’ failure to comply with the conditions in the possession order.
Held: It was not open to a landlord to waive breaches of an order so as to resuscitate the original tenancy. There had to be an application to the court. ‘The power to discharge or rescind the order of possession, conferred by section 85 (4) of 1985 Act, is a power which can only be exercised in the light of the circumstances prevailing at the time’. The reference to ‘conditions’ in s.85(4) was a reference to the conditions (as varied from time to time under s.85(3)) upon which the order for possession was suspended.
Chadwick LJ, Schiemann LJ and Sir Christopher Staughton
 EWCA Civ 594, (2002) HLR 22
England and Wales
Cited – Greenwich London Borough Council v Regan CA 31-Jan-1996
The authority had taken possession proceedings against the secure tenant for non-payment of rent, and obtained an order, suspended on condition as to payments. He again fell into arrears, and the authority made a further agreement. They now sought . .
Cited – Thompson 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 . .
Cited – Swindon Borough Council v Aston CA 19-Dec-2002
The tenant had fallen into arrears, and a possession order had been made. Having cleared the arrears, the possession order fell, but the landlord purported to issue a new tenancy agreement, with no security of tenure. They now sought possession . .
Cited – London Borough of Newham v Hawkins and others CA 22-Apr-2005
The landlord had obtained a possession order, but the tenant continued in occupation as a tolerated trespasser, claiming entitlement as successors in title. Rent arrears had accrued, but even if the tenant had paid thenm the council would have . .
Cited – London Borough of Lambeth and Hyde Southbank Ltd v O’Kane, Helena Housing Ltd CA 28-Jul-2005
In each case the authority had obtained an order for possession of the tenanted properties, but the court had suspended the possession orders. The tenants had therefore now become ‘tolerated trespassers’. They now claimed that they had again become . .
Cited – Bristol 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.
Cited – Knowsley 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: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 May 2022; Ref: scu.147520