Housing Week Day 2 : Dealing with defendants with mental health problems/capacity issues in ASB cases

06 Oct 2020

Tenants with mental health issues (P) may be involved in two different sorts of proceedings: anti-social behaviour proceedings in the County Court and, if they are found to lack capacity to manage their own affairs, best interests proceedings in the Court of Protection (CoP).

This webinar explains the different roles of each court and how they can be co-ordinated to secure expeditious outcomes in circumstances where the County Court sometimes defers to the CoP, whilst the CoP may want to defer to the County Court. Three key issues are explained:

1) Should the CoP be involved and what is its role? The CoP can only be involved if P lacks capacity to make a relevant decision, such as whether to surrender a tenancy. The CoP’s focus is on P’s best interests, and hence the focus is narrower than in County Court proceedings where P’s interests are balanced against those of neighbours and the broader community. However, in some cases it may be in P’s best interests to surrender his/her tenancy and this is a decision that the CoP can make.

2) Initiating and prosecuting CoP proceedings. How can the CoP be persuaded to decide that P should surrender his/her tenancy?

3) Dealing with capacity assessments and litigation friends in the County Court. How do issues impact the range of available remedies, and how should landlords approach their equality, discrimination and other public law duties?

A copy of the slides for this webinar can be found HERE.