03 July, 2014
A human rights challenge to the rule that one periodic tenant can end a joint tenancy by serving a notice to quit on their landlord looks set to be dismissed.
In the case of Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk , it was established that one joint periodic tenant could end a joint tenancy by serving a notice to quit on their landlord, even if the other joint tenant does not consent or have knowledge of the notice to quit. The serving of a notice to quit by one tenant would end the tenancy.
More recently, in the case of Sims v Dacorum Borough Council , the Court heard how Mr and Mrs Sims were joint periodic secure tenants of a property owned by Dacorum Borough Council. After the break down of their marriage, Mrs Sims left the marital home and gave notice to quit to Dacorum Borough Council. Following the case of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council v Monk this meant that the tenancy was terminated and Dacorum Borough Council sought possession of the property. Dacorum Borough Council subsequently obtained a possession order against Mr Sims and Mr Sims appealed this decision.
Mr Sims appealed the decision on the basis that the decision was incompatible with Article 1 and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court of Appeal dismissed this appeal, citing that they were bound by the decision made by the Supreme Court in Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk. Mr Sims then pursued his appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has now heard Mr Sims' application for permission to appeal and the actual appeal. During the application it has been reported that Lord Neuberger commented that the Supreme Court was inclined to grant Mr Sims permission to appeal but would then dismiss the actual appeal. The judgment of the Supreme Court has not yet been handed down but this will be done in due course and will explain the Court's reasoning in coming to this decision.