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Protection from Eviction Act

This page deals with the following points:
  • Where premises are let partly for residential purposes and partly for business purposes, such as a lease of a shop with a flat above, does this section prevent forfeiture otherwise than by proceedings in court where the tenant is residing in the part let for residential purposes?
  • Accommodation in a hostel.
  • Compatibility of s3 of 1977 with Article 8.
  • Licence of accommodation secured by local authority for a homeless person.

Forfeiture

Tenant of shop with flat above

Key statutory provision

Section 2 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 provides:
    "Where any premises are let as a dwelling on a lease which is subject to a right of re-entry or forfeiture it shall not be lawful to enforce that right otherwise than by proceedings in the court while any person is lawfully residing in the premises or part of them."
Question: Where premises are let partly for residential purposes and partly for business purposes, such as a lease of a shop with a flat above, does this section prevent forfeiture otherwise than by proceedings in court where the tenant is residing in the part let for residential purposes?

Answer: Yes. The words "let as a dwelling" in s2 mean "let wholly or partly as a dwelling". They do not mean "let exclusively as a dwelling". (See in particular Wilson LJ at paras 5 and 34). The CA reached this conclusion based upon earlier interpretations of these words in the Rent Acts, fortified by arguments under the ECHR.

The tenant in the case had a lease of a shop with a flat above. The lease contained a forfeiture clause in standard form permitting L to forfeit by re-entering the premises "or any part thereof". T conducted a retail business on the ground floor and resided on the first floor. The first floor was self-contained with its own separate entrance. When T got into arrears of rent L purported to forfeit by causing bailiffs to change the locks of the shop on the ground floor. L took no steps to take possession of the flat and T remained in occupation. There were subsequent possession proceedings relating to the flat and the judge made an order for possession. However, the CA overturned that decision holding that as s2 applied to the premises the original forfeiture was invalid. The lease of the whole was still in existence.< ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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