Gary Lewis succeeds in the Court of Appeal

On 7th July 2016the Court of Appeal (Arden, Floyd and Sales LJJ) handed down its judgment inthe conjoined appeal cases of City West Housing Trust -v- Lindsey Massey & Vincent Roberts -v- Manchester& District Housing Association [2016] EWCA Civ 704.

The judgment considers the interpretation and scope of the test for suspension set out by Gage LJ at paragraph 17 of the Court of Appeal judgment in Sandwell -v- Hensley [2007] EWCA Civ 1425. That is to say, the forward-looking test as to whether there was “cogent evidence of areal hope that the previous conduct would cease.”  

At the heart of the appeals were two issues: firstly, the affect of a finding of dishonesty against tenants upon the test and, secondly, whether tenants could rely upon external factors to satisfy the test. The Court was also invited to provide guidance on the application of the test for future cases.

The Court unanimously preferred the tenants’ arguments on both issues and in doing so upheld the first appeal decision in Massey whilst overturning that in Roberts so as to reinstate the first instance decision. Guidance was also given by the Court as to the interpretation, scope and application of the test for future cases.

Gary Lewis, instructed by Stephensons Solicitors, represented the successful tenants at first instance, on first appeal and in the Court of Appeal.

A copy of the judgment can be found via the following link: =>city_west_final.pdf