In relation to the licence of a property granted by a private landlord’s agent to the respondent local authority, the requirements of Sch 1, para 6b of the Housing Act 1985 were satisfied by the provision for vacant possession on not less than 14 days’ notice. Accordingly, the Queen’s Bench Division dismissed the applicant’s appeal against the decision that her agreement with the authority for occupation of the licensed property was not an agreement that attracted the security of tenure provisions of the Housing Act 1985.
 All ER (D) 07 (May)
*Mohamed v Mayor and Burgesses of the Barnet London Borough
 EWHC 1012 (QB)
Queen’s Bench Division
17 April 2019
Licence – Licence to occupy premises – Security of tenure
In April 2017, the respondent local authority provided accommodation to the applicant and her daughter under a temporary accommodation agreement. The property in question had been let to the authority by a private landlord’s agent (Rent Connect) pursuant to a licence agreement for an initial period of 12 months and thereafter from month to month (the 2015 licence agreement). In 2018, the authority decided to recover possession of the property and served a notice to quit on the applicant.
After the notice to quit expired, the authority brought possession proceedings. The judge found that the occupation of accommodation by the applicant did not have secure status for the purposes of part IV of the Housing Act 1985 (HA 1985). However, he dismissed the authority’s claim on grounds of failure of service of the notice to quit. Subsequently, the authority served a further notice to quit. The applicant appealed the finding that the agreement for occupation with the authority was not an agreement that attracted the security of tenure provisions of the HA 1985. It was common ground between the parties that: (i) the requirements of Sch 1, para 6 of the HA 1985 (that provided an exception to security of tenure) were satisfied, save that there was no agreement over para 6b; and (ii) the agreement between the authority and Rent Connect was the material agreement for the purposes of considering para 6b.
Issues and decisions
Whether the occupation of accommodation by the applicant had secure status for the purposes of Pt IV of HA 1985.
Each party contended for a different construction of Sch 1, para 6 of HA 1985. The applicant submitted that, as applied to the facts of the present case, the licence between the local authority and Rent Connect ought to contain a single, twin track, provision providing Rent Connect with possession each month (as the arrangement was a periodic monthly licence) or when required. In the absence of any such clause, para 6b was not satisfied and the applicant’s occupation attracted security of tenure. The authority argued that the agreement for a periodic monthly licence needed only to provide for possession when required, which it did, by provision of a clause requiring possession on not less than 14 days’ notice. Accordingly, para 6b was satisfied and the applicant did not have security of tenure (see  of the judgment).
The licence arrangements between Rent Connect and the authority were for an initial fixed term of 12 months, followed by a periodic (monthly) occupation. It was a periodic occupation by the time the applicant took occupation in April 2017. The facts were akin to the indeterminate arrangement in Tower Hamlets London Borough Council v Abdi ( 1 EGLR 68). The parties to the arrangement between Rent Connect and the authority would not have been able to answer the question ‘when did the arrangement end’. Further, there was no material difference between the notice requirement in Abdi (not less than 7 days’ notice) and the notice requirement in the present case (not less than 14 days’ notice). In line with Abdi, Rent Connect could obtain possession when it required. That was sufficient because the licence was periodic. Accordingly, para 6b was satisfied and the applicant had no security of tenure (see  of the judgment).
The requirements of HA 1985 Sch 1, para 6b were satisfied by the provision for vacant possession on ‘not less than 14 days’ notice’ - ie when required. Accordingly, the applicant did not have security of tenure (see  of the judgment).
Tower Hamlets London Borough Council v Abdi  1 EGLR 68 applied; Haringey London Borough Council v Hickey  All ER (D) 130 (Apr) considered; Mexfield Housing Co-operative Ltd v Berrisford  All ER (D) 58 (Nov) considered; R (on the application of Youngsam) v Parole Board  All ER (D) 50 (Mar) considered.
Matthew Lee (instructed by Duncan Lewis Solicitors) for the applicant.
Jane Hodgson (instructed by HB Public Law) for the authority.
Paul Mclachlan - Barrister.