A tenant’s human rights can stop an eviction, rules a courtMake Text Bigger
Private landlords may have to bear in mind their tenant’s human rights before they can evict them, according to the latest court ruling.
Lawyers are likely to thrash out the implications of the case that could undermine a landlord’s ability to repossess a property in the New Year.
Another case is in the pipeline to hit the courts after Christmas.
The suggestion from the latest ruling is landlords will have to show the court that they have considered matters like a tenant’s mental and physical disabilities, frailty and likelihood of being rehoused before pressing ahead with an eviction.
The ruling comes in the Supreme Court from Manchester City Council vs Pinnock, where the council was hoping originally for a possession order or the right to remove Mr Pinnock’s secure tenancy to a council house.
No one seems to care if landlords have rights
Although this case involves social housing, the next case concerns a housing co-operative, which is a private landlord – and the arguments from that ruling could equally apply to a buy to let landlord.
In the Manchester case, the council claimed Mr Pinnock was abusive and his neighbours complained about antisocial behaviour.
The court agreed to take away Mr Pinnock’s right to a secure tenancy, subject to his continuing good behaviour. He failed to keep to the agreement and the case returned to court where the council was granted a possession order.
Mr Pinnock took the case back to court, but his appeal was denied, so he appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court upheld the previous decision to let the council evict Mr Pinnock, providing the council consider the human rights principle of proportionality – these are factors that are personal to the tenant and could affect behaviour and prospects of finding another home.
Interestingly, the cases involve the human rights of tenants – but do not mention those of a property owner or landlord.
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