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Duncan Lewis Solicitors prevent outright possession order for vulnerable tenant (16 December 2013)

Date: 16/12/2013
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Duncan Lewis Solicitors prevent outright possession order for vulnerable tenant

Duncan Lewis housing solicitors successfully prevented an outright possession order being made against a vulnerable tenant with mental health issues, who had been convicted of possession of class A drug.

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham -v- Nobulshus Scott - heard in Willesden County Court 23 October 2013

Possession proceedings were brought against Mr Scott due to a conviction of possession of class A drug, which had been found in Mr Scott’s flat.

Subsequent to his arrest for the drug offence, for which Mr Scott, who suffers from serious mental health problems with a borderline learning disability, was eventually given a two-year suspended sentence, he made a concerted effort to turn his life around. Mr Scott obtained employment, for which his employers described him as a “blessing to have as part of the team”.

Mr Scott regularly attended meetings with his probation officer, where he was described as being a “model service user”. He also began voluntary work in the community as a well as attending drug rehabilitation work.

Despite the steps taken by Mr Scott since his conviction, which was over 12 months before the trial, H Council were seeking an outright possession order.

At the trial, at which evidence from the police, the council workers and Mr S was heard, the Judge was successfully persuaded to make a suspended possession order. This will allow Mr S to keep his home and provide him with a stable ground to continue with his work to move away from drugs.

Duncan Lewis Housing Solicitor, Christopher Gaunt was the the trial advocate. He added;

“This was a particularly challenging case which went all the way to trial. On the one hand, there were very serious breaches of tenancy, but on the other we had a vulnerable Defendant with learning difficulties who worked hard to turn his life around. The key issue in this case was reasonableness. Both parties' legal representatives made lengthy submissions on this point."

"We were successful in preventing an outright possession order by persuading the Judge that there was hope for the future. An outright Order was not proportionate. I think, when taking into account all the evidence and the very great strides taken by the Defendant, this was absolutely the right outcome."

"Duncan Lewis has a great history of representing the most vulnerable in society and of obtaining fantastic results, often against all the odds. This was another such example. Working with tenants who experience learning difficulties can often be the most challenging type of case, but also ultimately can be the most rewarding."

Bernadette Chikwe was the solicitor with conduct of the case.
Christopher Gaunt the trial advocate.

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