Supreme Court Rules In Housing Possession Case

Judges Reject Tenant’s Claims That Order Infringed Human Rights


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The Supreme Court has today rejected an appeal by an assured shorthold tenant who claimed a possession order on her house was incompatible with her human rights.

According to specialist property litigation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, the ruling will be welcomed by private landlords (and by extension their mortgage providers) as had the Court ruled in the tenant’s favour, it could have prevented them from securing possession of their properties through the courts.

This landmark case focuses on an assured shorthold tenant who received a possession order from receivers appointed by the mortgage provider. The mortgage had been taken out by the tenant’s parents but they fell behind with payments due to a change in circumstances. 

The tenant opposed the possession order on the grounds that it was incompatible with the right to respect for her home under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). She also claimed the receivers had not been entitled to serve notice on her in their own names.

The case was heard by the Supreme Court in March this year after initial hearings at Oxford County Court and the Court of Appeal.

In what is a landmark ruling today over the role of human rights law in possession claims between private parties, five Supreme Court judges have ruled unanimously that the tenant’s rights under Article 8 were not infringed by the possession order.

Expert Opinion
“This is a significant case and if the appellant had been successful, it could have led to a major extension of the applicability of human rights into private disputes. Whilst the facts are quite tragic the decision will be welcomed by private landlords and their lenders. Had the decision been made the other way it would have led to significant further delays and costs in recovering possession.”
Christopher Perrin, Partner