Luton Borough Council was prosecuted by the HSE late last year following an incident at a high school in which an assistant headteacher was attacked by a pupil and left with life-changing injuries.
A significant Court of Appeal ruling on the Equality Act 2010 and proportionality defences in relation to warrant suspension applications.
Paragon Asra Housing Limited v. James Neville (July 2018) - Background
Paragon Asra Housing Limited (‘Paragon’) brought a possession claim against Mr Neville, the tenant, on the basis that he had breached his tenancy obligations by causing anti-social behaviour and nuisance to his neighbours. Mr Neville admitted the breaches, but argued that his behaviour was as a result of personality and behavioural disorders from which he suffered. He argued that the disorders amounted to a disability under the Equality Act 2010 and therefore, the possession proceedings that had been brought against him by Paragon were discriminatory.
County Court Decision
The Court made a Suspended Possession Order (‘SPO’) but recorded that the Paragon accepted that the Mr Neville’s disability amounted to a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. However, it was satisfied that it was reasonable to make an order for possession suspended on terms that he did not commit any further material breaches of his tenancy agreement.
Mr Neville breached the SPO, Paragon applied for a warrant and Mr Neville sought to stay the warrant on the basis of earlier arguments of disability and proportionality. At the stay hearing, the District Judge accepted that there was no issue for the court to re-consider under the Equality Act 2010, unless there had been a material change of circumstances since the SPO was made. Mr Neville’s application was dismissed. However, upon appeal by Mr Neville, the Recorder agreed with Mr Neville and stated that the Equality Act 2010 considerations should have been reconsidered at the enforcement stage. As such, the warrant was suspended.
Paragon appealed to the Court of Appeal, on the basis that the District Judge who granted the SPO had already determined that the order did not discriminate against the Defendant (Mr Neville) on the basis of his disability, and therefore the enforcement of that order did not discriminate against the Defendant.
Court of Appeal Decision
It agreed and said that the relevant inquiry into the proportionality of the SPO had been undertaken at the first instance. As the court had been satisfied at that stage that terms of the SPO were proportionate, it followed that the order could be enforced in the event of any material breach. As there were no relevant changes to the Defendant’s circumstances, he could not request that the court reconsider the same issue of proportionality with a view to suspending the warrant.
The case has highlighted 2 principles:
- Where a Court determines that an Order for Possession does not discriminate against a tenant on the basis of his disability, the Court can also hold that enforcement of that order (ie. The eviction) does not discriminate against that tenant.
- Enforcement of an Order (eviction) as in this case can be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim and therefore not discriminatory.
For more information
If you have any queries or comments on this case please contact Mrs Baljit Basra, Housing Litigation Partner on 0121 212 7452.
This ebriefing looks at the proposal to set out 'public procurement principles' in the proposed procurement legislation.
Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated that there is great resilience and innovation in the housing sector across Greater Manchester, it has also brought shortfalls and other priorities sharply into foc
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.