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Possession proceedings and joint tenancies

11 February 2013

The case of Sims v Dacorum Council has affirmed that a joint tenancy can be ended by one tenant serving notice to quit without the other tenant’s knowledge without breaching the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

This right was originally affirmed in Hammersmith & Fulham Council v. Monk (1991). The Sims case sought to challenge the law in this area on the basis of a breach of Mr Sims’ human right to respect for his home and the right to freedom from interference with his possessions. The Court of Appeal rejected these arguments, concluding there was no incompatibility between the right of termination of a joint tenancy by one joint tenant and the ECHR.

Whilst Mr Sims considers whether to apply for permission to appeal social housing providers can continue to apply for possession of a property let on a joint tenancy where one joint tenant has served a Notice to Quit but the other joint tenant seeks to remain in the property.

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