A person holds the silhouette of a family house in their hands

Case Study – Saxon Weald Homes Ltd v Chadwick [2011] EWCA Civ 1202

Mr Chadwick was a Starter Tenant of Saxon Weald Homes Limited, a housing association, and therefore should be considered as a tenant under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. His tenancy started on 11 August 2008.

Soon after the tenancy started, Mr Chadwick began to behave in an anti social manner. It should be noted that it was said that Mr Chadwick suffered with mental health problems.

Various meetings were carried out with Mr Chadwick along with the housing team and his support workers with a view to helping him to stop acting in an anti social manner. A number of warning letters were also sent, however, unfortunately the anti social behaviour continued.

On 5 August 2009, the solicitors for Saxon Weald wrote to Mr Chadwick with a Section 21 Notice requiring possession.

On 11 August 2009 (anniversary date of the starter tenancy) a letter was sent by a housing assistant employed by Saxon Weald advising Mr Chadwick that as he had now successfully completed the first year of his tenancy, he was considered by Saxon Weald as an assured tenant.

Possession proceedings were issued by Saxon Weald relying on the Section 21 Notice and letter of 5 August 2009 stating that possession was required.

The Court of Appeal decided the case on the matter only of the interpretation of the letter, dated 11 August 2009, advising Mr Chadwick that he had become an assured tenant. The Court of Appeal decided that the 11 August 2009 letter gave notice to Mr Chadwick that his tenancy had been converted to an assured tenancy and therefore the claim for possession was dismissed.

In summary it is really important to ensure that there is communication between teams in order for any issues to be ‘caught’ early and acted upon where appropriate, saving unnecessary costs down the line.