Suspended possession orders get clarity
The House of Lords has found in favour of 3 tenants in Knowlsley Housing Trust v White, Honeygan-Green v London Borough of Islington and Porter v Shepherds Bush Housing Association
The 3 joined appeals concerned the effect of suspended possession orders (SPOs) on the status and rights as tenants.
A Suspended Possession Order is an order for repossession of your home that has been granted by a County Court but where the judge has decided to give the homeowner time to rectify the situation by agreeing a repayment agreement.
The ruling will hopefully help to clarify the situation regarding tenant's rights whilst SPOs are in place and will be of interest to residential landlords and tenants as well as their advisors.
The ruling has clarified:
- Assured tenancies under the Housing Act 1988 do not end until a possession order is enforced, or the tenant otherwise vacates, whereas
- Secure tenants under the Housing Act 1985 will see tenancies end on the date specified for possession in the order
- Any tenant who has failed to comply with a suspension term, but has paid off the arrears and costs, can seek a discharge or variation of the SPO
- A tenant's right to buy under the Housing act 1985 is suspended whilst an SPO is in force, but revived once the SPO is discharged.