In a judgment handed down on 8 December 2014, the High Court rejected a claim that the Housing Act 1985 was incompatible with the ECHR. The Claimant had argued that the scheme was contrary to Article 14 because it discriminated between married and unmarried partners in the provision it made for a partner to take over a secure tenancy upon the death of the tenant. Finding for the Secretary of State, Mr Justice Knowles held that any difference in treatment was objectively and reasonably justified. This is the first case in which the courts have considered the compatibility of this aspect of the Housing Act 1985 with the ECHR. It underlines the margin of discretion afforded to Parliament in relation to matters of social and economic policy such as the allocation of social housing.
Ben Lask appeared for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Please click to view the full judgment in Turley v Wandsworth