Landlord wins injunction dispute with tenant over possession order

A landlord has successfully challenged an injunction granted to a tenant who claimed he had been unlawfully evicted. The court also granted the landlord a possession order for the property under dispute.

The tenant, Mr Rasool, had applied for a without notice interim injunction, supported by undated and unsigned particulars of claim. His case was that the landlord, Paddington Garden, had granted him a tenancy for the property, which he had occupied with his sister for over two years and that he had paid rent.

He alleged that he had been unlawfully evicted from the property by the landlord.

The judge granted the interim injunction and ordered him to issue a claim form.

Paddington Garden submitted that it had never granted Rasool a tenancy for the property; that it had entered into a tenancy agreement with a company which had subsequently abandoned the premises; that Rasool was a trespasser who had managed to gain access to the property because of the interim injunction; and that the possession claim was not genuinely disputed on grounds that appeared to be substantial by legal standards.

The High Court found in favour of Paddington.

It pointed out that it was well established that an applicant for a without notice interim injunction was under an obligation to make full and frank disclosure, and that he had to inform the judge of all matters that would be relevant and material to his decision.

In this case, there had been a lack of full and frank disclosure by Rasool.

First, he had failed to inform the judge that he had applied for a without notice injunction in relation to the property two or three weeks earlier. The injunction had been refused and questions had been raised regarding the factual basis for that application.

Secondly, a search of the court electronic files to ascertain whether Rasool had issued the claim form as required by the judge had revealed that it had still not been issued, but also that Rasool had commenced two other sets of proceedings during 2021, seeking injunctions based on his joint occupation of, and exclusion from, two other properties during the time he was also alleging occupation of the property with his sister.

His explanation was that mistakes had been made and he had not personally occupied those other properties. However, no tenable explanation had been provided for why he had come before the court on three separate occasions making the same allegations in respect of different properties during the same period.

Those matters had clearly been material to the judge on the without notice application. Accordingly, the injunction was discharged solely based on his lack of full and frank disclosure.

In relation to the application for an interim possession order, there were substantial questions as to the genuineness of Rasool’s documents in support of his case that he had been in joint occupation of the property for two years and had paid rent.

The possession claim was not genuinely disputed on grounds that appeared to be substantial, having regard to Rasool’s lack of proper documentation, Paddington’s clear evidence that it had granted a tenancy of the property to the company and not to Rasool, and the previous proceedings. An interim possession order was therefore granted.

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