Islington LBC v Freeman [2009] EWCA Civ 536

Waller, Longmore and Jacob L.JJ.

Note: This case will only have minor  effect on assured shorthold tenancies

In 1999, the defendant’s father was granted a secure tenancy of a flat by the local authority. At that time, the defendant was living in her own property. In 2002, the father’s health deteriorated to the point where he needed assistance and the defendant stayed with him three nights a week. His health continued to deteriorate and the defendant moved in with him full-time on June 20, 2004. In 2005, the defendant allowed friends to stay in her property and, in early June 2005, let it on a six-month assured shorthold tenancy.

On June 30, 2005, more than 12 months after the defendant had moved into the flat, the father died. The authority commenced possession proceedings which were defended on the basis that the defendant had succeeded to her father’s secure tenancy under s.87, Housing Act 1985, because she had “resided with” him for 12 months prior to his death. The county court judge found that the defendant had occupied the property as her only or principal home for 12 months prior to her father’s death but that she had not “resided with” him for that period. The defendant appealed.

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