Wilson v London Borough of Harrow is a decision of the High Court concerning the right of a tenant to remain in council property which she had occupied for some 17 years.
The tenant had a secure tenancy of a two bedroom flat. She later married and the council agreed to her husband becoming a joint tenant. The wife suffered from mental illness and the marriage later foundered. The husband left the flat. After discussions with the local authority housing department, he served a notice to quit on the council in respect of the tenancy. This had the effect of terminating the tenancy, thereby making the wife a trespasser. She asked to become a sole tenant of the flat but the council refused. It had a waiting list for two bedroom flats whereas the applicant needed only a one bedroom property. She appealed against the council's possession order on the grounds that it was a contravention of her rights under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The court rejected the appeal. It held the law was clear as to the rule whereby one of two joint tenants can serve a notice to quit without the consent of the other tenant. Even though this brings the tenancy to an end, the rule does not breach article 8.