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13 March 2019 | Comment | Article by Bethan Gladwyn

Proportionality defences and private landlords

Back in 2014 and again in 2016 we reported on the various court decisions in McDonald v McDonald; in late 2018, the case reached the European Court of Human Rights as FJM v UK, App no 76202/16.

Possession sought by a private landlord

The case concerned a young woman who suffered from a mental disorder. Her parents purchased a property with a loan secured by a charge. They granted their daughter an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). The payments on the loan fell into arrears, the lender appointed a receiver who served a Section 21 notice and sought possession. M defended on the basis that the court should consider the proportionality of seeking possession. The case was dismissed at all levels in the UK court system on the basis that a proportionality defence is not available in a case where possession is sought by a private landlord.

Article 8 – breach of rights

M complained to the European Court on the basis that her article 8 rights had been breached because the proportionality of the eviction had never been considered. The complaint was inadmissible – a residential tenant cannot require the court to consider the proportionality of an eviction sought by a private landlord.

For more information on this topic or to speak to our Housing Management team, please contact 029 2267 5560.

Author bio

Bethan Gladwyn is head of the housing management team as a result of her capability and specialist knowledge in her field of law. A specialist in social housing law and practice, anti-social behaviour and landlord and tenant (residential), Bethan assisted in setting up Wales’s first anti-social behaviour unit at Hugh James.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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