Transfer of Tenancy Case Study

Black Antelope Law was instructed by SR, the joint tenant with her ex-husband (BB) of a Housing Association flat.

After separating, SR agreed with BB to move out, but not to remove her name from the tenancy. BB later remarried VM and the couple lived together in the flat.

After BB’s marriage with VM broke down, VM issued an application in the Family Court to have BB’s tenancy transferred into her name and SR was added as an interested party as VM was also seeking to extinguish/transfer SR’s interest in the flat to herself.

The final hearing was transferred to the High Court as a result of VM arguing that under the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction, the Court could interfere with SR’s property rights in a transfer of tenancy application where SR was a third/non-party to VM and BB’s relationship contrary to the Court of Appeal decision in Gay v Enfield (1999) 31 HLR 1126.

At the final hearing, the High Court agreed completely with our representations that the inherent jurisdiction could not be used in the way sought by VM and that although the decision in Gay v Enfield predated the Human Rights Act 1998 coming into force, it remained good law and VM’s application was dismissed with costs.

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