Who Lives With Whom?


A recent decision of the Court of Appeal has clarified the position for social landlords as to when a person can be said to ‘reside with’ another for the purposes of having the right, under the Housing Acts 1985 and 1998, to succeed to a tenancy.

In the case in point, the daughter of a tenant claimed the right to succession on the basis that she had resided with her father for the necessary 12 month period ending with his death. In his latter years, he had been in poor health and his daughter had looked after him on a daily basis. In order to do so, she had stayed up to three nights a week at his flat, rather than returning to her own flat, which was nearby.
Although it was accepted that she spent seven days a week at her father’s premises, the Court ruled that she did not reside there because she did not engage in any ‘home making’. In the ruling, the judge quoted an earlier decision in which the judge said, “It seems to me that in this particular context it imports… a quality of residence that would not normally obtain, for instance, when a relative is living at premises merely as a caretaker of part or the whole, or… detailed for duty there by a welfare service. ‘Residing with’ is something more than ‘living at’, even when the premises become a person’s normal postal address.”
The decision implies that in similar cases (which, with an ageing population, must surely become more frequent over time), a narrow interpretation will be favoured regarding what constitutes ‘residing with’.
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Partner Note
Freeman v London Borough of Islington [2009] EWCA Civ 536. See

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