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Cornerstone in the Supreme Court

Bryan McGuire QC and Catherine Rowlands are appearing for the local housing authority in Solihull MBC v Hickin in the Supreme Court on Tuesday 3 July. The Court is being asked to rule on the relationship between the common law right of survivorship and the statutory right of succession given to secure tenants.

Mr and Mrs Hickin were granted a joint secure tenancy by Solihull MBC in 1980. In 2001, Mr Hickin left the house, never to return. Mrs Hickin and her daughter, the Appellant in this appeal, continued to reside in the house. On Mrs Hickin's death, the Council served a notice to quit on Mr Hickin as the remaining tenant and then issued possession proceedings for the property. The Appellant, however, contended that as the resident daughter of the deceased tenant, the tenancy vested in her by virtue of the statutory succession provisions, rather than the non-resident joint tenant by the right of survivorship. The authority was successful before the Court of Appeal: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2010/868.html.

The Supreme Court must now grapple with important issue of whether the succession provisions prevail over the right of survivorship.