A tenant’s recent attempt to evoke the Human Rights Act to block her landlord’s attempts to evict her

Liam O’Shea, Director and Solicitor in Astle Paterson’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution department discusses a tenant’s recent attempt to evoke her right to private and family life under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) to block her landlord’s attempt to evict her.

Liam O’Shea explained, “Fiona had suffered from psychiatric and behavioural problems from a very young age, which made it a struggle for her to find and retain housing.   As a result, her parents purchased a property with the aid of a mortgage, and Fiona went into occupation of the property on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.

Unfortunately, Fiona’s parents’ financial position took a downturn and as a result they fell into arrears on the mortgage.  Whilst the arrears were only for a relatively small amount, the mortgage company sought to evict Fiona under the procedure under section 21 of the Housing Act 1998.

Fiona argued that to evict her would be a violation of her right to private and family life under Article 8 of ECHR.   However, the Supreme Court ruled the ECHR could not be utilized by a private tenant in the circumstances.”

Liam concluded, “The Supreme Court’s ruling stops the potential erosion of the section 21 procedure – whereby a landlord can evict a tenant without having to give any valid reason, so long as the proper procedure of providing a tenant with a notice giving them, usually, at least 2 months’ notice to vacate has been followed.

It will now be difficult for any tenant moving forward to challenge mandatory possession orders for residential property under Article 8.”

Should you need to obtain possession of your property, Liam O’Shea of Astle Paterson’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution department will be able to assist you.  Please contact him on 01283 743965 or by way of email to

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