Solihull Metropolitan Council v Elaine Hickin: Supreme Court 25th July 2012
The Supreme Court has delivered an important judgment which potentially affects all joint council tenants. Where one joint tenant dies and the other no longer resides at the property, does the tenancy pass to that joint tenant by survivorship or to a person qualified to succeed the tenant who resides at the property?
The Supreme Court held that the tenancy passes by way of survivorship. The case establishes a “no vacancy” rule: whilst at least one joint tenant remains alive, there is no vacancy and there is no room for the operation of the succession provisions. The question of who succeeds to the joint tenancy does not arise as long as one of the joint tenants remains alive. The tenancy continues in existence – “the tenant” has not all died.