Human Rights Challenge to Hammersmith & Fulham BC v Monk to be dismissed by the Supreme Court

01 Jan 2018

Housing, Property

Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk [1992] 1 AC 478 affirms that one joint periodic tenant may determine the joint tenancy by serving a unilateral notice to quit upon his or her landlord, and without the other joint tenant’s knowledge or consent. This brings the tenancy to an end.

In Sims v Dacorum Bororugh Council, Mr and Mrs Sims were joint periodic secure tenants of a three bedroom house owned by the Council. On the break-up of their marriage, Mrs Sims left the property and gave notice to quit to the Council which – following Monk – had the effect of terminating the tenancy. The Council obtained a possession order against Mr Sims. He appealed, arguing that the rule in Monk was incompatible with both Article 8 and Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court of Appeal ([2013] EWCA Civ 12) had dismissed his appeal, holding it was bound by the House of Lords’ decision in Monk. Mr Sims pursued his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Yesterday, on the third day of the hearing of his rolled-up application for permission to appeal and the appeal itself, Lord Neuberger stated that the Supreme Court was minded to grant Mr Sims permission to appeal but then to dismiss the appeal itself. The Court’s reasons will be given in a Judgment to be handed down in due course.

As soon as Judgment is handed down, a further e-flash will be sent, setting out the Court’s reasons.

Ranjit Bhose QC was leading counsel for Dacorum