New judgment: Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council v Hickin  UKSC 39
25 Wednesday Jul 2012
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 868
The appellant’s parents were joint tenants of a property of which the respondent council was the freeholder, and the appellant continued to live there after her father left and mother died. The respondent commenced proceedings against the appellant for possession of the property on the basis that the appellant’s father had become the sole tenant under the doctrine of survivorship, and as he no longer resided there the tenancy was no longer secure. The appellant contended that this had been displaced by the succession scheme contained in the Housing Act 1985.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by a 3-2 majority, Lords Mance and Clarke dissenting. The succession scheme contained in the Housing Act only applies where the doctrine of survivorship cannot – that is, where there is a vacancy as no surviving joint tenant remains.