Supreme Court declines to hear appeal over granting of possession despite admitted failure to undertake public sector equality duty assessment

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal a Court of Appeal ruling that meant a housing association could take possession of a property despite the social landlord not undertaking an assessment under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) before issuing the claim for possession, it has emerged.

The latest Supreme Court permission to appeal decisions, published this week, revealed that a panel comprising Lord Hodge, Lord Sales and Lord Burrows on 18 May 2021 refused permission to appeal the ruling in Forward v Aldwyck Housing Group Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 1334.

This was “because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance”.

In Forward the Court of Appeal judges in February 2019 rejected the appellant’s arguments that where was a breach of the PSED, any decision taken after the breach should be quashed or set aside in most cases.

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Instead, the Court of Appeal ruled, where facts suggested that the decision would not be substantially different if the breach of duty had not occurred, then there would be no need to quash the decision. If it was not highly likely, a quashing order may be made.

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