Metropolitan Properties Company (FGC) Limited v Lannon; 11 Jul 1968

References: [1968] RVR 490, [1968] EWCA Civ 5, [1968] 3 All ER 304, [1968] 3 WLR 694, (1968) 19 P & CR 856, [1969] 1 QB 577
Links: Bailii
Coram: Lord Denning MR, Danckwerts LJ, Edmund Davies LJ
Tenants of apartments asked the Rent Officer to fix the fair rents. On appeal, the rents were then set at a rate lower even than they had requested. The rents would serve as a guide for other local rents. The landlords now complained that the chairman of the Rent Assessment Committee had been assisting his own father in negotiating a rent for such a local property, and had represented other tenants. They complained of bias.
Held: He should not have sat. It was accepted that he had had no pecuniary interest himself, and had acted scrupulously. It was a question of whether there was any appearance of bias.
Lord Denning MR considered the test for apparent bias, and said: ‘The court looks at the impression which would be given to other people. Even if he was as impartial as could be, nevertheless if right-minded persons would think that, in the circumstances, there was a real likelihood of bias on his part, then he should not sit. And if he does sit, his decision cannot stand.’
Statutes: Rent Act 1965
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Regina -v- Abdroikof, Regina -v- Green; Regina -v- Williamson HL (Bailii, [2007] UKHL 37, Times 08-Nov-07, [2007] 1 WLR 2679, [2008] 1 Cr App R 21, [2008] Crim LR 134, [2008] 1 All ER 315, (2007) 151 SJLB 1365)
    The House was asked whether a jury in criminal trials containing variously a Crown Prosecution Service solicitor, or a police officer would have the appearance of bias. In Abdroikof, the presence of the police officer on the jury was discovered only . .