Public law and human rights defences against possession proceedings
Produced in partnership with Kevin Long of Hackney Community Law Centre

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Kevin Long of Hackney Community Law Centre provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Public law and human rights defences against possession proceedings
  • Registered social landlords (RSL)and private registered providers (PRP)
  • Post Weaver
  • Reclassification of housing association debt
  • Who can rely on a public law defence
  • Defences to possession claims
  • Conventional public law grounds
  • ECHR, art 8
  • Pinnock in practice
  • Proportionality under Equality Act 2010
  • More...

Public law and human rights defences against possession proceedings

Coronavirus (COVID-19): During the current pandemic, legislation and changes to practice and procedure in the courts and tribunals have been introduced, which affect the following:

  1. proceedings for possession

  2. forfeiture of business leases on the grounds of non-payment of rent

  3. a landlord's right to exercise Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and enforcement agents taking control of goods

  4. service of various notices to recover possession of residential properties

  5. practice and procedure in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)

  6. insolvency legislation of both a permanent and temporary nature

For further information and guidance, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property and Coronavirus (COVID-19)—social housing tracker [Archived].

A local authority (LA) landlord is a public body and its actions are open to scrutiny on public law grounds. It is well established that where an LA brings a claim for possession a defence can therefore be raised on conventional Judicial Review principles. See Practice Note: Judicial review—what it is and when it can be used.

An LA will also be a public authority for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) and claims for possession may also then potentially engage Convention rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), notably article 8, the right to respect for one’s home.

Registered social landlords (RSL)and private registered providers (PRP)

Other social housing landlords (including private registered

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