Sims v Dacorum Borough Council: SC 12 Nov 2014

Surrender at Common Law Survives Human Rights Law

The tenants held a secure weekly tenancy of the respondent under a joint tenancy. After a relationship breakdown, Mrs Sims had given notice to quit. Mr Sims, left in possession now argued that the common law rules should not be allowed to deprive him of his home, and that Monk should be revisited after the Human Rights Act.
Held: The appeal failed.
The service of the notice by Mrs Sims did not, of itself, operate as an infringement of his right to respect for his home. Though his home became at risk: ‘full respect for Mr Sims’s article 8 rights was accorded by the facts that (i) his tenancy was determined in accordance with its contractual terms to which he had agreed in clause 100 of the tenancy agreement, (ii) he was entitled to the benefit of clause 101 of his tenancy agreement, (iii) under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, he could not be evicted without a court order, and (iv) the court would have to be satisfied that Dacorum was entitled to evict him as a matter of domestic law, and (v) the court could not make such an order without permitting him to raise a claim that it would be disproportionate to evict him . .’

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Toulson, Lord Hodge
[2014] UKSC 63, UKSC 2013/0264, [2014] WLR(D) 490, [2014] 3 WLR 1600, [2014] BLGR 898, [2015] 1 All ER 834, [2015] HLR 7, [2015] 1 AC 1336
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC Summary, SC, WLRD
Housing Act 1985 82 84, European Convention on Human Rights 8
England and Wales
CitedDoe d Aslin v Summersett KBD 1830
Majority of Trustees May Exercise Power
The freehold in land which was let on a yearly tenancy was vested jointly in four executors of a will to whom the land had been jointly devised. Three only of the executors gave notice to the tenant to quit. The fourth objected.
Held: The . .
CitedHammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk HL 5-Dec-1991
One tenant of two joint tenants of a house left and was granted a new tenancy on condition that the existing one of the house, still occupied by her former partner, was determined. She gave a notice to quit as requested, the council claimed . .
Appeal fromSims v Dacorum Borough Council CA 24-Jan-2013
Husband and wife had been joint tenants of the council. On the breakdown of the marriage, W gave notice to quit. H defended the council’s possession action, saying that it was an infringement of his human rights for him to lose his tenancy and home. . .
CitedManchester 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 . . .
CitedZH and CN, Regina (on The Applications of) v London Boroughs of Newham and Lewisham SC 12-Nov-2014
The court was asked whether the 1977 Act required a local authorty to obtain a court order before taking possession of interim accommodation it provided to an apparently homeless person while it investigated whether it owed him or her a duty under . .
CitedDi Palma v United Kingdom ECHR 1-Dec-1986
(Commission/admissibility) The applicant’s lease was forfeited on her non-payment of a service charge and possession was ordered. Her primary claim was made (unsuccessfully) under article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention. But she also . .
CitedLondon 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 . .
CitedBuckland v The United Kingdom ECHR 18-Sep-2012
The applicant alleged that the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss her appeal and uphold the judgment making a possession order constituted an unjustified breach of her right to respect for her home and her family life and discriminated against . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Housing, Human Rights, Landlord and Tenant

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.538698