Human Rights - Property Law

The following Articles will probably have the greatest impact in this area of law:

  • Article 1 of the first protocol, (peaceful enjoyment of possession and general protection of property rights)
  • Article 6, (right to fair trial)
  • Article 8, (protection of family life and home)
Possible challenges may occur in the area of landlords self help remedies, such as the right of distress where landlords can seize goods on premises in lieu of rent owed on those premises without getting a court order, the right of forfeiture whereby the landlord can re-enter the premises without issuing proceedings where rent is owed or even re-entry to a tenant's premises to carry out repairs. Also the law of adverse possession which allows a squatter to acquire legal ownership after 12 years.
The difficulty is that many of these self-help remedies are contractual, (rights given in the lease) and interference in such remedies may not be justified if the domestic courts consider them to be fair, necessary and proportionate.
Also Article 1 of the first protocol allows the state to deprive individuals of their property and possessions if it is necessary to control the use of property or secure payment of taxes and other charges or penalties.