Christopher McCarthy’s Court of Appeal case about landlord licensing in Wales and validity of s8 Housing Act notice starts tomorrow

15 June 2020

Christopher McCarthy is instructed by Hugh James solicitors to act for the respondent tenants in Jarvis v Evans. The case raises a narrow but important point about the provisions of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. Can a landlord who is not licensed under Part 1 of the Act serve a notice seeking possession under section 8 of the Act?

The Court of Appeal lifted the stay imposed by CPR (Covid) PD 51Z and will hear the appeal remotely tomorrow (16 June 2020).

The case of Hackney LBC v Okoro [2020] EWCA Civ 681 held that the automatic stay of possession cases in CPR (Covid) PD 51Z applies to appeals.

However the Court of Appeal has decided that Jarvis v Evans raises a specific point of general importance which requires determination at some early stage. Accordingly, the automatic stay, was lifted on 5 June.

Background to the case

In short, unless licensed under Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, the landlord of a dwelling subject to a domestic tenancy must not, amongst other things, serve a notice to terminate a tenancy: section 7, Housing (Wales) Act 2014. At the time of serving the section 8 notice in this case, the landlord was neither licensed nor registered. A district judge made a possession order (the point not being taken at first instance).

Her Honour Judge Garland-Thomas, on the first appeal, held that a section 8 notice fell within the provisions of section 7 of the Act and, as such, an unregistered landlord was prohibited from serving such a notice. The possession order was set aside.