Right to Housing in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Kay v Lambeth City Council; Leeds City Council v Price
    • House of Lords
    • 08 Marzo 2006

    But it is clear that under domestic property law the appellants have no right to occupy their respective premises, of which the local authority has an unqualified right to possession. The appellants fall outside the categories to which Parliament has extended a measure of protection. The appellants have not pleaded or alleged facts which give them a special claim to remain. I am satisfied that if these cases were remitted, possession orders would necessarily be made.

    A possession order made by a court in respect of a defendant's home will be, at least ordinarily, an interference with the defendant's right to respect for his home within the meaning of article 8. Equally clearly, in almost all cases of the two types mentioned above that interference will be justified as 'necessary in a democratic society' on one or more of the grounds set out in article 8(2). Parliament's decisions on this extremely difficult and intricate social problem are to be respected.

    But if the requirements of the law have been established and the right to recover possession is unqualified, the only situations in which it would be open to the court to refrain from proceeding to summary judgment and making the possession order are these: (a) if a seriously arguable point is raised that the law which enables the court to make the possession order is incompatible with article 8, the county court in the exercise of its jurisdiction under the Human Rights Act 1998 should deal with the argument in one or other of two ways: (i) by giving effect to the law, so far as it is possible for it do so under section 3, in a way that is compatible with article 8, or (ii) by adjourning the proceedings to enable the compatibility issue to be dealt with in the High Court; (b) if the defendant wishes to challenge the decision of a public authority to recover possession as an improper exercise of its powers at common law on the ground that it was a decision that no reasonable person would consider justifiable, he should be permitted to do this provided again that the point is seriously arguable: Wandsworth London Borough Council v Winder [1985] AC 461.

    But an order for possession was in accordance with domestic law. There is nothing the matter, from an article 8 standpoint, with a common law rule which gives the owner of property, which is occupied as a home by a person who has no right as against the owner to remain there, the right to recover possession of the property.

    It should not be forgotten that in an appropriate case, the range of considerations which any public authority should take into account in deciding whether to invoke its powers can be very wide: see eg R v Lincolnshire County Council and Wealden District Council, Ex p Atkinson, Wales and Stratford (1995) 8 Admin LR 529, R (Casey and others) v Crawley Borough Council [2006] EWHC 301 (Admin).

    There is no doubt that article 8 entails both negative obligations – not to interfere – and positive obligations – to secure the right to respect for a person's private and family life, his home and his correspondence. But it does not confer any right to health or welfare benefits or to housing. In an appropriate case, it is incumbent upon the housing authority to liaise with the social services and education authorities before deciding to take action.

    But where under domestic law the owner's right to possession is plainly made out (whether at common law or, for example, under the legislation providing for assured short-hold tenancies or introductory tenancies), the judge in my opinion has no option but to assume that our domestic law properly strikes the necessary balances between competing interests (as envisaged in paras 32 and 33 of my noble and learned friend Lord Bingham's judgment) and that in applying it properly he is accordingly discharging his duty under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
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Forms
  • Particulars of claim for demotion order / suspension of right to buy
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    County Court forms including the N1 money claim form.
    ... ... Name of Claimant ... Name of Defendant ... The claimant ... 1. The claimant is making this claim under: ... section 82A(2) of the ... Housing Act 1985 ... section 121A of the ... Housing Act 1985 ... section 6A(2) of the ... Housing Act 1988 ... In relation to the tenancy of: ... 2. The ... ...
  • Application by tenant or local housing authority for a Rent Repayment Order (Housing and Planning Act 2016)
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    Housing and planning forms including Rent Repayment Orders and Demolition Orders.
    ... ... If the Tribunal thinks it is appropriate, and all the parties and others notified of their right to attend a hearing consent, it is possible for your application to be dealt with entirely on the basis of written representations and documents and ... ...
  • Appeal against a financial penalty under section 249A of the Housing Act 2004
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    Housing and planning forms including Rent Repayment Orders and Demolition Orders.
    ... ... If the Tribunal thinks it is appropriate, and all the parties and others notified of their right to attend a hearing consent, it is possible for your application to be dealt with entirely on the basis of written representations and documents and ... ...
  • Applications relating to Improvement Notices, Prohibition Orders, Demolition Orders and Emergency Measures
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    Housing and planning forms including Rent Repayment Orders and Demolition Orders.
    ... ... Housing Act 2004, Housing Act 1985 ...   ... It is important ... it is appropriate, and all the parties and others notified of their right to attend a hearing consent, it is possible for your application to be ... ...
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