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Malik v Persons Unknown, Reynolds & Matthews

On 22 May 2012 Arthur Moore and Andy Lane co-tutored a seminar on “The Article 8 Defence and its impact on private landlords’ possession actions” following their own experiences of opposing Article 8 defences in private landlords’ possession claims.

On 18 July 2012 Her Honour Judge Karen Walden-Smith, sitting at Central London County Court in Malik v (1) Persons Unknown (2) Reynolds (3) Matthews, despite finding that Article 8 was engaged, ordered possession against “Grow Heathrow”, a squatter community garden & housing project occupying land on the proposed third Heathrow runway site.

Permission to appeal was granted and though there is an interesting point as to whether Article 8 is engaged at all the practical reality is that, save where there are exceptional circumstances, any eviction is likely to be proportionate. The concern is – and both Arthur and Andy have had these cases (with Alex Bastin also presently instructed in a possession claim facing a private landlord Article 8 defence) – that it may encourage more such defences which, if the court is not robust enough or sufficiently attuned to recent jurisprudence, will not be dealt with summarily.