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COUNCIL CORRECTLY ENFORCED POSSESSION ORDER AFTER RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN

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The occupier of a Southwark LBC-owned flat has failed in a high court challenge to a decision by the local authorit...
The occupier of a Southwark LBC-owned flat has failed in a high court challenge to a decision by the local authority to enforce a county court possession order in respect of the premises, the tenancy of which was vested in her former partner who has now left her.

The court was told that Wendy Hussey lived at the flat with her four children after being persuaded to return to live there by her partner after a breakdown in their relationship. However, the couple had only been together again for a fortnight when her partner left to live with another woman leaving Ms Hussey with the children.

She immediately informed the council of the situation. However, she claims that although Southwark LBC had told her it would put her name on the tenancy, it nevertheless continued with possession proceedings which it had brought to evict Mr Page on the grounds of arrears of rent.

In the high court yesterday Jamie Burton, counsel on behalf of Ms Hussey, told Mr justice Burton that the council's allocation scheme specified that 'applicants who are left in a Southwark LBC property following a relationship breakdown but who are not tenants already, will be registered in the Relationship Breakdown Category for the tenancy of the same property, providing (1) they are a qualifying person under the Housing Act 1996, and (2) they qualify to be offered the tenancy under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement'.

In the circumstances he argued that the council had failed to comply with its own allocation scheme and Condition of Tenancy 'both of which state in mandatory terms that the claimant should have been offered the tenancy of 26, Woodville House'.

However, dismissing the claim Mr justice Burton said the claimant's case was based on a misapprehension as to the scope of the Allocations Policy. He held that under the terms of the tenancy agreement Ms Hussey was not a qualifying person on the basis that she and her ex partner had not lived together as a couple in a stable relationship for more than 12 months prior to his departure in August 2001.

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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