Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
A retired couple who sued their landlord for libel claiming she made derogatory remarks about them in a letter to B...
A retired couple who sued their landlord for libel claiming she made derogatory remarks about them in a letter to Berkshire CC, have lost their case in London's High Court.

John and Jean Nolan face legal costs running into thousands of pounds after a High Court jury took 30 minutes to reject their libel claims against their landlord, Barbara Grant-Adamson.

Mrs Grant-Adamson had offered to settle the Nolans' claim for £1,000 before the case came to trial, but now the couple will not get a penny.

Mr and Mrs Nolan, both in their early 60s, claimed Mrs Grant-Adamson had falsely accused them in writing of being 'difficult' tenants with a history of 'long-standing mental and psychiatric problems'.

Mrs Grant-Adamson's letter had been written to Berkshire CC's Rent Officer Service in October 1992 when she was seeking to have a 'fair rent' registered on the couple's garden flat.

Mr Nolan denied that he or his wife had ever received psychiatric treatment or that they had ever been 'difficult or obstructive' tenants.

He said he only learnt of the contents of Mrs Grant-Adamson's letter after hearing 'numerous references' to it during an appeal to the Watford Rent Assessment Panel after their rent was increased by 57%. Mrs Grant-Adamson admitted writing the letter but claimed her comments about the couple were made under the cloak of 'qualified privilege'. She accepted that the remarks she made about the Nolans were incorrect in some respects.

But she claimed she was entitled to make them at the time because she believed them to be true.

The High Court jury rejected the Nolans' libel claims and Mr Justice Drake ordered the couple to pay the action's legal costs.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.