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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> London Borough of Wandsworth v Randall  EWCA Civ 1126 (07 November 2007)
Cite as:  HLR 24,  WLR 359,  46 EG 176,  3 All ER 393,  1 WLR 359,  EWCA Civ 1126,  NPC 116
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COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE WANDSWORTH COUNTY COURT
(SITTING AT MAYOR'S AND CITY OF LONDON COURT)
His Honour Judge Birtles
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE DYSON
LORD JUSTICE JACOB
| The Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Wandsworth
|- and -
|Mr Grant Edward Randall
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
190 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400, Fax No: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr Toby Vanhegan (instructed by Messrs Flack & Co) for the Respondent
Hearing date: Wednesday 24 October 2007
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Dyson:
The relevant statutory provisions
"84. – (1) The court shall not make an order for the possession of a dwelling-house let under a secure tenancy except on one or more of the grounds set out in Schedule 2.
(2) The court shall not make an order for possession-
(a) on the grounds set out in Part I of that Schedule (grounds 1 to 8), unless it considers it reasonable to make the order,
(b) on the grounds set out in Part II of that Schedule (grounds 9 to 11), unless it is satisfied that suitable accommodation will be available for the tenant when the order takes effect,
(c) on the grounds set out in Part III of that Schedule (grounds 12 to 16), unless it both considers it reasonable to make the order and is satisfied that suitable accommodation will be available for the tenant when the order takes effect;
And Part IV of that Schedule has effect for determining whether suitable accommodation will be available for a tenant.
87. A person is qualified to succeed the tenant under a secure tenancy if he occupies the dwelling-house as his only or principal home at the time of the tenant's death and either –
(a) he is the tenant's spouse or civil partner, or
(b) he is another member of the tenant's family and has resided with the tenant throughout the period of twelve months ending with the tenant's death; unless
89. – (1) This section applies where a secure tenant dies and the tenancy is a periodic tenancy.
(2) Where there is a person qualified to succeed the tenant, the tenancy vests by virtue of this section in that person, or
GROUNDS ON WHICH THE COURT MAY ORDER POSSESSION IF IT CONSIDERS REASONABLE AND SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION IS AVAILABLE
The accommodation afforded by the dwelling-house is more extensive than is reasonably required by the tenant and-
(a) the tenancy vested in the tenant by virtue of section 89 (succession to periodic tenancy), the tenant being qualified to succeed by virtue of section 87(b) (members of family other than spouse), and
(b) notice of the proceedings for possession was served under section 83 (or, where no such notice was served, the proceedings for possession were begun) more than six months but less than twelve months after the date of the previous tenant's death.
The matters to be taken into account by the court in determining whether it is reasonable to make an order on this ground include-
(a) the age of the tenant.
(b) the period during which the tenant has occupied the dwelling-house as his only or principal home, and
(c) any financial or other support given by the tenant to the previous tenant.
SUITABILITY OF ACCOMMODATION
1. For the purposes of section 84(2)(b) and (c) (case in which court is not to make an order for possession unless satisfied that suitable accommodation will be available) accommodation is suitable if it consists of premises-
(a) which are to be let as a separate dwelling under a secure tenancy, or
(b) which are to be let as a separate dwelling under a protected tenancy, not being a tenancy under which the landlord might recover possession under one of the Cases in Part II of Schedule 15 to the Rent Act 1977 (cases where court must order possession), or
(c) which are to be let as a separate dwelling under an assured tenancy which is neither an assured shorthold tenancy, within the meaning of Part I of the Housing Act 1988, nor a tenancy under which the landlord might recover possession under any of Grounds 1 to 5 in Schedule 2 to that Act
and, in the opinion of the court, the accommodation is reasonably suitable to the needs of the tenant and his family.
2. In determining whether the accommodation is reasonably suitable to the needs of the tenant and his family, regard shall be had to-
(a) the nature of the accommodation which it is the practice of the landlord to allocate to persons with similar needs;
(b) the distance of the accommodation available from the place of work or education of the tenant and of any members of his family;
(c) its distance from the home of any member of the tenant's family if proximity to it is essential to that member's or the tenant's well-being;
(d) the needs (as regards extent of accommodation) and means of the tenant and his family;
(e) the terms on which the accommodation is available and the terms of the secure tenancy;
(f) if furniture was provided by the landlord for use under the secure tenancy, whether furniture is to be provided for use in the other accommodation, and if so the nature of the furniture be provided."
The Council's submissions
"….. In general terms, the demand for allocation of accommodation runs at nearly six times the annual supply of accommodation. Mr Worth describes 2 Everatt Close as a property which is especially desirable for letting to families with high housing need under the council's statutory duties and powers. The property would be allocated to one of the 370 households now awaiting the allocation of 4 bedroomed accommodation and indeed as the property has been adapted, it could be allocated to one of 18 households with physical disabilities who are awaiting a suitable property. The council has 150 households who are existing secure tenants suffering from overcrowding who are in need of a four bedroomed property and 48 households in temporary accommodation, leased via the private sector market, who have been accepted as unintentionally homeless and in priority need of accommodation under Part IV of the Housing Act 1996."
The statutory language
The hearing date cannot have been intended by Parliament?
Remit to the County Court
Lord Justice Jacob:
Sir Anthony Clarke MR: