The Supreme Court has just given judgment in the long anticipated case of McDonald (by her litigation friend Duncan J McDonald) v McDonald and others [2016] UKSC 28. Read it here.

On a very quick reading this morning, McDonald upholds the decision by the Court of Appeal and severely limits the ability of tenants with assured shorthold tenancies to rely upon defences based on their right to family and private life when faced with a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

Paragraph 73 of the judgment tells us:

The cases in which it would be justifiable to refuse, as opposed to postpone, a possession order must be very few and far between, even when taken as a proportion of those rare cases where proportionality can be successfully invoked. They could only be cases in which the landlord’s interest in regaining possession was heavily outweighed by the gravity of the interference in the occupier’s right to respect for her home.

The result isn’t very surprising given the unpopularity of Article 8  in possession proceedings generally.

I’ll be reading this detailed judgment over the weekend and will try to post again once I’ve digested it better.

Posted by Ben Amunwa

Founder and editor of Ben is a commercial and public law barrister with The 36 Group. He gives expert legal advice on employment, public law and commercial disputes to a wide range of clients.

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