The Trust appealed against refusal of an order for possession against its periodic assured tenant. The grounds were 14 (nuisance or annoyance), and 14A (domestic violence). The judge had found that the violence complained of occurred only after the tenant had moved out of the property and ceased before his return. The judge found no jurisdiction to make the order, because the parties were not living together at the time. Had he found grounds, now that the wife had left, it might not have been reasonable to make an order.
Held: The appeal succeeded, and the case remitted to reconsider the reasonableness of a possession order.
The entire basis of the legislation was to protect parties to a relationship from domestic violence, and ‘The essential point is that the use of the past tense does not expressly or impliedly require the parties to the relationship to be living together as a couple at the date of the causative violence or at the date of the relevant triggering event.’ In any event the tenant’s behaviour was covered by ground 14A.
The judge’s construction did not make sense: ‘Why should the timing of departure from the property by the victim of the violence make any difference to the availability of that ground of possession to the landlord? Why should the perpetrator of the violence be protected against the ground because the violence did not drive the victim out of the property until after the perpetrator of continuing violence has left?’
Mummery, Lloyd LJJ, Sir Paul Kennedy
 EWCA Civ 750,  WLR (D) 167,  PTSR 2011,  NPC 74,  HLR 39
Housing Act 1988 Sch2
England and Wales
Cited – O’Neill v Williams 1984
Cited – Council of City of Manchester v Lawler and Another CA 17-Mar-1998
Cited – Bracknell Forest Borough Council v Green and Another CA 20-Mar-2009
The council sought possession of the property saying that the three bedroomed property was underused by the tenant and his sister. The respondents said that it was not too extensive, and that no satisfactory alternative accommodation had been . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Housing, Landlord and Tenant
Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.420033