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Damages for unlawful eviction by a local authority

On 21st October, 2014, Desmond Kilcoyne appeared in the Supreme Court on behalf of the London Borough of Lambeth in a case where the Borough, in their capacity as a landlord, unlawfully evicted a secure tenant, Mr Loveridge. The judgment is awaited.

The appeal concerns the approach which must be taken to the calculation of statutory damages under Housing Act 1988, sections 27 and 28. At trial, the trial judge awarded Mr Loveridge statutory damages of £90,500. The Court of Appeal allowed the Borough’s appeal and held that no statutory damages were payable. The appeal decision can be found at: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/494.html

Mr Loveridge has appealed to the Supreme Court. The issues on the appeal are: (i) whether the fact that the rights of a tenant of a local authority would change from those of a secure tenant to those of an assured tenant on a sale of the reversion to a private landlord is relevant to a hypothetical sale; and, (ii) whether the risk of a change in the tenant’s rights of occupation (for example, following a housing stock transfer) prior to eviction is relevant to a hypothetical sale.


30.10.2014