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Housing law update

Alastair Redpath-Stevens and Jim Shepherd report on: possession proceedings; homelessness; injunctions; rent increases; only or principal home; and anti-social behaviour


28 February 2003

In Swindon BC v Aston [2002] EWCA Civ 1850, the Court of Appeal held that a suspended possession order, which would cease to have effect upon the arrears being cleared, was unenforceable once this condition had been complied with, and the subsequent demand and acceptance of an increased rent by the landlord gave rise to a new tenancy. In 1991, the authority’s predecessor in title obtained a suspended possession order against the defendant on the ground of rent arrears. The order stated it would “cease to be enforceable when the (arrears of rent … and) costs… [were] satisfied”. In 1992, the defendant breached the order, but remained in occupation, making irregular payments. In January 1996, he cleared the arrears and, in April, his rent was increased. He fell into and cleared arrears on a number of subsequent occasions. In 2000, the authority obtained a second possession order on the basis that the defendant was a trespasser, having remained in occupation after his tenancy ...

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