Case Law Update: Private Landlords, Tenants and Human Rights?

In this case, the Supreme Court held that a residential private landlord, seeking a possession order was not constrained by Article8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention). 

The landlord in this case had served a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, and brought what should have been a straight-forward claim. The tenant defended on the basis that her human rights were infringed due to her unusual and unfortunate circumstances. 

The outcome of this decision is that a court does not have to consider whether granting a possession order to a private landlord constitutes a disproportionate interference with the tenant’s rights under Article8of the Convention.

The lessons? For private landlords, this case provides comfort in that they need not worry about tenants raising a defence to possession claims on the basis of human rights. For private tenants facing exceptional hardship should look to the existing provisions within the Civil Procedure Rules which give Courts discretion to allow up to 6 weeks’ before a possession order takes effect. 

The case? McDonald v McDonald[2016] UKSC 28; [2016] 3 WLR 45

the Supreme Court took the opportunity to make clear that the individual circumstances of the tenant of a private landlord will never be unusual or unfortunate enough to grant them a defence to a s21 possession claim on the basis of their human rights under Article 8 of the ECHR