Stonebridge Housing Action Trust v Gabbidon and Another: ChD 21 Nov 2002

The landlord sought possession of a flat on the grounds that there were arrears of rent, and that one of the tenants had used it for the sale of drugs. It now appealed a suspension of the order, saying that the unlawful user meant that suspension should be allowed only in exceptional circumstances.
Held: The Mousah case did establish that possession should be granted, but it had not decided whether a stay could be granted. Lloyd J. did ‘not accept that the drug incidents were conclusive factors which required [the judge] to reject the tenant’s application whatever might be the other relevant circumstances.’ It was necessary to examine with care the facts of the individual case. The offending tenant had left, and the judge was not compelled to make the order immediate. The judge had correctly addressed the three elements of the existence of grounds, the reasonableness of the order, and whether his discretion to suspend should be exercised. His decision was not to be interfered with.
Lloyd J said: ‘albeit that the observations of the Court of Appeal in City of Bristol v. Mousah are cogent, they do not by themselves compel the conclusion that when the court is addressing the question [‘as to whether it should exercise its wide discretion under s.85 of the 1985 Act to suspend a possession order or to stay execution’] it can come to only one possible answer in a case where incidents [of the kind in the present case] – which are to some extent comparable with those that were issues in the Mousah case – have been proved’.


Lloyd J


Times 13-Dec-2002


Housing Act 1985 85


England and Wales


CitedCity Council of Bristol v Mousah CA 25-Feb-1997
The tenant had been found guilty of allowing the premises to be used for the consumption and supply of crack cocaine. The assistant recorder held that it was not reasonable to make an order for possession. The council appealed.
Held: The . .

Cited by:

CitedSandwell Metropolitan Borough Council v Hensley CA 1-Nov-2007
The secure tenant was convicted of cultivating cannabis in the house. The council sought possession, and now appealed an order granting only possession suspended whilst the tenant complied with the terms of the tenancy agreement, seeking outright . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Housing

Updated: 27 June 2022; Ref: scu.178433