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Supreme Court agrees to hear battle over termination of fixed term secure flexible tenancies

The Supreme Court has granted Croydon Council permission to appeal in a dispute over the termination of fixed term secure flexible tenancies.

In Croydon London Borough Council v Ms Chipo Kalonga [2021] EWCA Civ 77 the Court of Appeal (Arnold LJ, King LJ and Asplin LJ) concluded – “albeit for different reasons” – that Mrs Justice Tipples was correct to hold that such a tenancy can only be terminated by the landlord if the tenancy agreement contains a forfeiture clause. The Court held that the tenancy agreement in the Kalonga case did not contain a forfeiture clause.

Cornerstone Barristers noted that the Court of Appeal also overturned the finding that a tenancy with such a forfeiture clause could be determined through the normal route.

“The consequences are that tenancies without a forfeiture clause cannot be determined by the landlord before their natural expiry, and those with such a clause can only be determined through the statutory forfeiture-like route,” the set said.

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On 19 April a Supreme Court panel comprising Lords Briggs, Leggatt, and Stephens JJSC granted Croydon permission to appeal.

Kelvin Rutledge QC and Riccardo Calzavara of Cornerstone continue to be instructed by Jenny Fraser-Brown of the London Borough of Croydon.

According to Landmark Chambers, there are thought to be around 30,000 flexible tenancies in England, “many of which do not have forfeiture clauses in the tenancy agreements”.

Justin Bates of Landmark will be leading Anneli Robins of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square for the tenant in the High Court. They are instructed by GT Stewart Solicitors.

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