The claimant sought to succeed to a secure tenancy. She had lived with her mother, a joint tenant, but who had died before her father who had not lived at the house for many years and who had now died. The council said that the tenancy had become his by survivorship on the mother’s death.
Held: The council’s appeal succeeded: ‘on the death of Mrs Hickin, the tenancy of the house vested in Mr Hickin by virtue of the doctrine of survivorship; Mr Hickin did not reside in the property, and consequently the tenancy ceased to be a secure tenancy; it was therefore effectively determined by the notice. In those circumstances, Miss Hickin was neither entitled to succeed to the tenancy nor remain in the house once the notice had expired.’ and ‘as a matter of elementary property law, where a tenancy is granted to two persons as joint tenants, and one of those persons dies, the tenancy becomes vested in the survivor as the sole tenant. That is sometimes known as a doctrine, or right, of survivorship, and is an integral ingredient of a jointly owned interest in land.’ This rule applied unless the 1985 Act displaced it. It did not, and the argument that it did might itself produce extraordinary and unwelcome results.
Lord Neuberger MR, Laws, Sullivan LJJ
 EWCA Civ 868,  HLR 45,  1 WLR 2254,  2 EGLR 147,  31 EG 62,  PTSR 103
Housing Act 1985
England and Wales
Cited – Carter v SU Carburetter Co CA 1942
A statutory tenancy is not an estate in land but a mere ‘personal right of occupation’ and is unassignable. . .
Cited – Lloyd v Sadler CA 1978
One of two joint tenants under a tenancy protected under the Act, had left the property to get married and did not intend to return. The remaining tenant stayed until the end of the tenancy. The landlord claimed possession, arguing that the . .
Cited – Birmingham City Council v Walker HL 16-May-2007
The tenant was the son of the former tenant. The tenancy had originally been in the ownership of his father and his mother. The father died in 1969, when the tenancy not yet a secure tenancy. On the mother’s death, the council argued that the first . .
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Updated: 28 June 2021; Ref: scu.421076