Adrian Davis and Miriam Shalom appear in Court of Appeal on novel point of law in housing succession case

July 10, 2019

Joint head of housing law Adrian Davis and property barrister Miriam Shalom represented the local authority in the Court of Appeal in London Borough of Hackney v Yildiz. The case considers the relationship between section 83 and Ground 15A of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985.

Ground 15A arises where a tenant dies and a family member takes over the tenancy. If the local authority  landlord believes the property is larger than the new tenant needs, it may use section 15A to try to take possession. The landlord has to show that suitable alternative accommodation is available.

Under section 83, landlords have to serve notices seeking possession unless the court dispenses with the requirement.

The question before the court is how Ground 15A (which has its own procedural timetable) interacts with section 83. The local authority had served the notice within the time limit set by Ground 15A but only started proceedings after the notice had lapsed. The landlord then applied to the court under section 83(1)(b) for dispensation.

The local authority landlord was successful in the county court both at first instance and on appeal.

The Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal as it found there was an important point of principle. The appeal was heard and judgment is awaited.