There is no power to accede to a late review request of a landlord's decision not to grant a fresh tenancy upon expiry of a flexible tenancy
R (Kalonga) v Croydon LBC  EWHC 2174 (Admin)
Croydon LBC granted to Chipo Kalonga a flexible tenancy in May 2015. Before the tenancy came to an end Croydon served on her notices pursuant to s.107D Housing Act 1985. Ms Kalonga requested a review of Croydon's decision to serve the s.107D(3) notice, informing her that it did not propose to grant a new tenancy upon expiry of her extant flexible tenancy. That review request was made outside of the 21-day period mandated by the statute. Croydon refused to accede to the request on the basis that it had no power to do so, and said that even had it had the power it would not have exercised it on the facts of Ms Kalonga's case.
Ms Kalonga sought, and was granted, permission to bring a claim for judicial review on six grounds. On application by Croydon those grounds were split so that at this first trial the questions for the court were whether the 21-day period can be extended by consent and, if it can, whether the merits of the proposed review are relevant to the discretion. Ms Kalonga relied on s.21 Housing Act 1985 as providing the discretion that she advocated for. Croydon repeated its assertion that there was no such discretion.
Cavanagh J agreed with Croydon that there was no such discretion. In the circumstances it was not necessary to determine whether the merits were relevant; in any event, Cavanagh J indicated in obiter dicta that had he determined the principle issue in Ms Kalonga's favour he would have held that the merits were capable of being relevant.
View the final judgement here.
Riccardo Calzavara was instructed by Jenny Fraser-Browne of Croydon LBC.