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Marital Breakdown Leaves Council Tenant High and Dry

Published: 07 December 2014, in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Marital Breakdown Leaves Council Tenant High and Dry

In a warning to council tenants that the consequences of marital breakdown can be more than just financial or emotional, a husband lost his family home of many years after his wife left him and gave their local authority landlord notice to quit.

The former couple occupied their home under a secure periodic tenancy which the council could only terminate by obtaining a court order. However, it could also be brought to an end if one of the tenants gave notice to quit. After the wife did just that, the council decided not to allow the husband to stay in the property by himself.

He fought the case through a number of court hearings – claiming that his eviction would violate his human right to peaceful enjoyment of his private property, as well as his right to respect for his privacy and family life. His campaign was, however, unsuccessful and finally hit the buffers at the Supreme Court.

The Court noted that the council’s right to terminate the lease on notice to quit being given by one of the joint tenants was enshrined in the lease and was therefore part of the bargain which the husband himself had made. The council had considered whether he should be allowed to stay in the property and he had been given ample opportunity to present his case. His rights had been accorded full respect and the making of a possession order was therefore both lawful and proportionate.

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