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Posted on January 21st 2016 by admin-movingin

Supreme Court to rule on test case of tenant arguing human rights to avoid eviction

Original Author: Rosalind Renshaw

The Supreme Court has granted the Residential Landlords Association permission to intervene in a high-profile repossession case that could have far-reaching implications.

The McDonald v McDonald case concerns receivers acting for a bank which wants to repossess a property from a defaulting private sector landlord.

However, the landlord’s daughter is living in the property who is seeking to avoid being evicted by arguing that this would breach her human rights.

She is invoking an Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to respect for private and family life and home.

Her bid failed at the Court of Appeal and she has now taken her fight to the Supreme Court.

The RLA has now been given permission to make a written submission to the court.

The RLA believes that if the court finds in favour of the tenant it will seriously undermine the existing Section 21 legislation and give tenants the opportunity to raise spurious defences under Article 8 in order to delay possession proceedings.

Barristers working on behalf of the RLA are currently preparing the submission, with the hearing due to take place in March.

Richard Jones, policy consultant and company secretary for the RLA, said: “Landlords must feel that they are under attack on all sides at the moment.

“The private rented sector has become a key provider of residential accommodation as a result of landlords having the right to automatically repossess properties once a tenancy has ended on a ‘no fault basis’ and also the right to evict tenants who have not paid their rent for at least two months.

“This case is of fundamental importance because it challenges these rights. If the tenant succeeds then we can expect defences being raised claiming human rights particularly to delay claims for possession. In the meantime rent arrears could be mounting.

“The RLA took the decision to intervene in this case to make sure that the Supreme Court was made aware of the consequences, as well as giving us the opportunity to challenge the tenant’s claims.”