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<i>Qazi</i> and the right to a home

The Lords decision on Art 8 ECHR and the
unqualified right to possession will prevent a great deal of unecessary litigation, says Alastair Redpath-Stevens

12 September 2003

In Harrow LBC v Qazi [2003] UKHL 43, the House of Lords considered whether the concept of ‘home’ for the purposes of Art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is confined to dwellings or land which is lawfully occupied. The Lords also considered the wider issue of whether all proceedings for possession of a home engage Art 8. Facts In 1992 the appellants, Harrow LBC (the council), as freehold owners, let premises jointly to the respondent, Mr Qazi (Q), and his then wife, Mrs Saman Qazi. In 1998 Mrs Qazi left, taking the couple’s daughter with her. In February 1999 she gave the council four weeks’ written notice to quit in accordance with the express terms of the tenancy agreement, thereby ending the tenancy. Q’s application for a sole tenancy of the premises was refused, because as a single person, he was not entitled to family-sized accommodation. A further refusal followed in November 1999. In March 2000 the council issued poss...

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