County Court Rules That Property Guardian is a Tenant

On 24 February 2017 HHJ Ambrose sitting at the County Court at Bristol concluded a two day trial of a preliminary issue concerned with whether a property guardian in possession of two rooms in the Broomhill Elderly Persons Home in Bristol was a tenant or a licensee. Despite the written agreement pursuant to which the occupier was let into possession describing him as a licence holder, the court, following well established legal principles from the House of Lords decision in Street v Mountford [1985] 1 AC 809, and on the facts of this particular case, found that he was an assured shorthold tenant.

The decision is believed to be the first occasion on which a court has determined the status of a property guardian. A copy of the judgment can be found here and a summary and commentary of the case from the excellent housing law blog Nearly Legal can be found here.

The successful tenant was represented by Russell James from Magdalen Chambers and Geraldine Winkler of the Avon and Bristol Law Centre.

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