We have been working with care homes to update their contracts and advise on the risks of charging the resident a regular “top-up” or additional fee where a resident is funded through NHS CHC
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.
The parliamentary processes are complete and the Restriction of Public Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”) which cap exit payments in the public sector at £95,000 will be in force from 4 November.
As the UK’s social housing sector recovers from the initial Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, now is the time to focus on the challenges that may emerge next.
There is no universal approach to regenerating town centres. However, housing must be considered a key part of any regeneration project – providing well-needed new homes and economic growth.
Friday 16 October marks the 6th annual Wear Red Day in England, Wales and Scotland. Wear Red Day is the brainchild of the charity; Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC). SRTRC aims to educate young people so they are equipped to recognise and challenge stereotypes, misconceptions and negative attitudes towards race.
Alongside the Building Safety Bill published in July 2020, the Fire Safety Bill is a key step in the Government’s strategy to improve building and fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy
Government regulations came into force on 23 September 2020 providing LGPS (local government pension scheme) employers with flexibility on meeting exit payments and LGPS funds with flexibility too
Charity Financials, the financial information program from Wilmington Charities, has published its latest Income Monitor report.
As employers face the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 31 October 2020, Katherine Sinclair and Libby Hubbard discuss the intricacies of the redundancy process for furloughed employees.
We have learned many things over the last six months; the latest lesson is that there is no new normal. The Government initiatives and guidance may have slowed down a pace, but the challenges for employers and their employees remain.
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.