The Supreme Court has decided that judges hearing social landlords' claims for possession must consider whether the tenant has a public law defence.
The ruling was made when the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed council the appeal of tenant Cleveland Pinnock who had for 30 years occupied a property let by Manchester City Council.
In 2008, Pinnock, who had by then had his secure tenancy "demoted" because of the anti-social behaviour of some of his children, was served with a notice of possession proceedings alleging further acts of nuisance and criminal offences committed by two of his sons.
Pinnock eventually appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming that he had not been allowed to raise the issue of proportionality before a county court judge even though Article 8 of the ECHR and European case law allows him to do so.
The Supreme Court ruled that, in light of European case law, a court, when asked by a local authority to make an order for possession of a person's home, must have the power to assess the proportionality of making the order and, in doing so, to resolve any factual disputes between the parties.
However, the court went on to rule that having regard to the undisputed evidence of three serious offences committed by Pinnock's sons the possession order was proportionate and should be upheld.
A just outcome indeed.
And well done to Nearly Legal for keeping everyone so up to date and well informed on this subject.
If you actually want to know what the case was all about and what it means then please refer to their brave new world or same old story post.
Photo by Colin Howley via Flickr.