Autumn Traing Day – Aspects of criminal law that may arise in the context of residential property

 

Amanda Gourlay’s expertise in landlord and tenant law covers the right to manage, appointment of a manager, breaches of covenant, forfeiture and associated insolvency. She is the voice behind Law and Lease, the blog which she created in 2012 to record and comment – with dry humour and occasional irreverence – on service charge decisions. Notable cases in which Amanda has appeared include: Church Commissioners v Koyale Enterprises [2012] 2 EGLR 42 and Chowdhury v Bramerton Management Company Ltd [2014] UKUT 260 (LC). Amanda appears regularly in the FTT and has a growing Upper Tribunal practice.

She is an honorary consultant to the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations, a contributor to “Service Charges and Management” by Tanfield Chambers (3rd edn, 2013), and a member of the Property and Chancery Bar Associations.

Crime and Punishment: with apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Protection from Eviction Act 1977

The Act applies to demised property which includes a non-residential element:

Patel v Pirabakaran [2006] EWCA Civ 685

Section 1: depriving a residential occupier of his occupation

Three offences:

  1. Unlawfully depriving or attempting to deprive a residential occupier of his occupation.The defence: belief or reasonable cause to believe that the residential occupier had ceased to reside.
  2. Acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or withdrawal of services reasonably required for the occupation of the premises as a residence. There must be an intention to cause the residential occupier:
    • To give up the occupation of the premises or any part thereof; or
    • To refrain from exercising any right or pursuing any remedy in respect of the premises or part thereof
  3. The landlord or an agent of the landlord shall be guilty of an offence if:
    • He does acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or members of his household, or
    • He persistently withdraws or withholds services reasonably required for the occupation of the premises in question as a residence, and (in either case) he knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that that conduct is likely to cause the residential occupier to give up the occupation of the whole or part of the premises or to refrain from exercising any right or pursuing any remedy in respect of the whole or part of the premises. The defence: reasonable grounds for doing the acts or withdrawing or withholding the services in question.

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