Q&As

Can a joint tenant of an assured shorthold tenancy obtain an injunction to stop the other joint tenant from serving notice to quit to terminate the tenancy?

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Produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 14/05/2020

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a joint tenant of an assured shorthold tenancy obtain an injunction to stop the other joint tenant from serving notice to quit to terminate the tenancy?

At common law, notice to quit by any one joint tenant under a lease is sufficient to determine a joint periodic tenancy. In practice, this may mean that where one party leaves a family home held under the terms of a joint tenancy, they can unilaterally terminate the tenancy, leaving the resident party without any right to occupy. Such notice will be effective even if there is an injunction in place preventing the party giving notice from excluding the other party from the premises.

The Supreme Court considered whether this is a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and/or under Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention in Sims v Dacorum BC. It considered that the unilateral severance of a joint tenancy by a single joint tenant was proportionate because this was a situation where any solution would necessarily involve a detriment to either landlord or tenant. A properly issued notice will thus be effective to terminate the tenancy, although it will always be worth checking that the appropriate formalities such as length of notice have been complied with. The effect of this would be that the remaining tenant would lose their tenancy and would only have basic protection from eviction under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

Where there is concern that a tenancy may be brought to

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