In McDonald v McDonald  EWCA Civ 1049 the Court of Appeal provided clarity that a tenant cannot invoke Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights as a defence to possession against a private landlord.
The appellant, a vulnerable individual represented by a litigation friend, had been granted an assured shorthold tenancy (“AST”) by a private landlord. The landlord relied on s 21 of the Housing Act (“HA”) 1988. Section 21 provides that once an AST has come to an end, and provided that the landlord has given not less than 2 months’ notice in writing, an order for possession shall be made. Therefore, the court does not need to consider reasonableness. A possession order was made. The appellant argued that the possession order contravened the right to respect for one’s home guaranteed by Article 8.
Where the landlord is a public authority, it is well established that a tenant may invoke Article 8. This imposes a procedural obligation to provide the tenant with an opportunity to have the proportionality of the possession order determined by the court. However, the CA held that this does not extend to a private landlord.
In dismissing the tenant’s appeal, LJ Arden set out :
Philippa Seal / 1st Oct 2014
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