By a majority (with Wilson L.J. dissenting) the Court of Appeal has upheld the Order of Mr Justice Peter Smith in Berrisford v. Mexfield Housing Co-operative Ltd in which he allowed the housing association’s appeal and struck out Miss Berrisford's defence.
The Housing Co-operative succeeded in establishing that the principles in Prudential Assurance Co Ltd v. London Residuary Body  AC 386 and Lace v Chantler applied in relation to tenancies they granted. The standard terms of tenancy provided that possession would only be sought in limited circumstances, such as whether there was rent arrears or nuisance. While, Miss Berrisford had breached the terms of her tenancy by rent arrears, the landlord established that they had an unfettered right to recover possession and need not establish breach of the terms of the tenancy. The Court of Appeal also rejected Ms Berrisford’s suggestion that she occupied pursuant to a licence.
Permission to appeal has been given and it is likely to be heard in the Supreme Court in Autumn 2011.
Kerry Bretherton and Laura Tweedy were instructed by Rickerbys LLP for Mexfield Housing.