Protection from Eviction Act 1977

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Protection from Eviction Act 1977-Unlawful eviction 

Mohamed v Manek and Kensington and Chelsea RLBC ( 99 ) 27 HLR 4 9; ( 99 ) 94 LGR 2 , CA

Temporary accommodation of homeless applicants not covered by PEA 1977 A homeless applicant was booked into Mr Manek’s hotel by the council pending enquiries into his application. Three days later the council notified the applicant of its decision that he was not in priority need and that Protection from Eviction Act 1977 (civil provisions)  his booking was terminated. It was made clear that the applicant would be excluded from the hotel and he applied for an injunction to prevent either the hotelier or the council from evicting him without a court order obtained in proceedings for possession (Protection from Eviction Act 1977 s3(2B). Allowing the council’s appeal against an injunction granted in the county court, the Court of Appeal held that (a) the 1977 Act was not intended to apply to temporary housing provided by local authorities under Housing Act 1985 s63 (now Housing Act 1996 s188) and (b) temporary accommodation in a hotel or hostel could not be ‘premises occupied as a dwelling under a licence’ for the purposes of s3(2B).

Protection from Eviction Act 1977 – Pirabakaran v Patel [200 ] EWCA Ci 8 ; [200 ] WLR 2; [200 ] All ER 0 ; [200 ] HLR 9; [200 ] L&TR 24; (200 ) Times 9 July; 2 May 200

Mixed residential/business premises covered by PEA 1977 s2 The claimant landlords let premises which comprised a shop on the ground floor and a residential flat on the first floor to Mr Pirabakaran. He lived in the flat.

He fell into arrears and the landlords exercised their right of re-entry to forfeit the lease by taking possession of the shop premises. Mr Pirabakaran continued to live in the flat and so the landlords began possession proceedings, claiming that as a result of their re-entry, the lease had become forfeit.

Later the landlords excluded Mr Pirabakaran from the flat. He issued a claim for an injunction against the landlord, relying on Protection from Eviction Act 1977 s2 and claiming that the purported forfeiture of the lease was unlawful. HHJ Oppenheimer found that the demised premises were not let ‘as a dwelling’, that accordingly the landlords were not constrained by s2 and that therefore the lease had been lawfully forfeited.

The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal. After extensive consideration of the Rent Acts and the effect of the Protection from Eviction Act s8, it held that the phrase ‘let as a dwelling’ in s2 means ‘let wholly or partly as a dwelling’. It therefore applies to premises which are let for mixed residential and business purposes. Furthermore, ECHR article 8 supports this interpretation.

Protection from Eviction Act 1977 – Sumeghova v McMahon [2002] EWCA Ci 8 ; [200 ] HLR 2 ; (2002) Times November

Excluded tenancy where landlord shared accommodation temporarily with tenant The defendant granted the claimant tenant a tenancy of a room in a house in April 1998. In August 1998 he informed the tenant that he needed her to vacate the room on 9 September 1998. On 18 September 1998 he evicted her and threw her belongings on to the pavement outside.

In a claim for unlawful eviction, the defendant maintained that he had lived in the same house as the tenant throughout the period of her tenancy, using one room as a living room and another room as a bedroom. His defence was that the tenancy was an excluded tenancy under Protection from Eviction Act 1977 s3A(2) because the tenant had shared accommodation with him and, immediately before the tenancy was granted and at the time it came to an end, he occupied part of those premises as his only or principal home.

Recorder Hurst found that although the accommodation was shared both immediately before the tenancy was granted and at the time it came to an end, this was a ‘temporary arrangement’ and that the landlord’s principal residence was in the house next door. As a result the tenancy was not an excluded tenancy. The defendant appealed, complaining that the judge had made no finding as to when he started to sleep in the premises. The Court of Appeal allowed the defendant’s appeal.

The defendant was using the premises as his only or principal home in April and September
even though it may have been a temporary arrangement. The place where a person sleeps is of the utmost importance. Circumstances may well arise where that would not be a decisive factor but it is a matter which would influence any court considerably. Having rejected the judge’s finding in relation to the ‘temporary arrangement’ on which he had relied, it was necessary for the court to consider whether the property was the defendant’s only or principal home in April and September 1998. In the circumstances, it was clear that it was his only or principal home and that the tenancy was therefore excluded.

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