Michelle Caney and Eloise Marriott Successful in Landmark Court of Appeal Case

Michelle Caney & Eloise Marriott
Written by:

Justin Luckman


Michelle Caney, leading Eloise Marriott, appeared on behalf of the successful Respondent in Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Mailley [2023] EWCA Civ 1246.

The key issue on the appeal was whether the Appellant was unlawfully discriminated against under Article 14 of the ECHR in circumstances where her late Mother was required to move to a Care Home and died there, rather than at home, precluding the Appellant’s entitlement to succeed to the secure tenancy of a three-bedroom house.

The Appellant sought to challenge the decision of the High Court, that the statutory provisions governing succession to, and assignment of, secure tenancies did not discriminate against the Appellant and were compatible with Article 14 of the ECHR.

If successful, the appeal had the capacity to change the law with respect to succession and increase the scope of succession rights in the Housing Act 1985. The appeal engages questions in relation to whether capacity can amount to “other status” under Article 14 and the matters to be taken into account when considering the question of justification, in particular whether the Court was entitled to take into account the extreme pressure on housing stock and the incremental reduction of succession rights.

The Court of Appeal comprehensively rejected all five grounds of appeal, finding that the Appellant had not been unlawfully discriminated against on the ground of any valid status, and gave important guidance on the interplay between the succession and assignment provisions, the landlord and tenant condition, and Article 14 of the ECHR.

The published judgment was handed down on 27 October 2023. A full article explaining the implications of the decision will follow shortly.

Written by Justin Luckman