Squadron Leader’s Ex-Wife Ordered Out of Tied Home

In a ruling of interest to tenants of tied properties, an RAF squadron leader’s ex-wife, who was ordered out of her government-owned home after her husband left her, has failed to convince judges that her eviction would violate her human rights.

After 15 years of marriage, the woman argued that she did not deserve to be turfed out of her home just because her husband had moved out. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had served her with notice to quit after his departure but she had remained living there for over six years whilst campaigning for the right to stay.

She argued that the MoD’s stance discriminated against her and breached her human right to respect for her home and family life. However, in dismissing her challenge to an earlier ruling to like effect, the Court of Appeal noted that her husband had had no formal tenancy and had only been permitted to occupy the house ‘for the better performance’ of his duties to the Crown.

His ex-wife had suffered ‘no disadvantageous treatment’ when compared to private tenants in a comparable position and her licence to occupy the property had been validly terminated. MoD lawyers had argued that security of tenure for those in the ex-wife’s position would ‘interfere with military effectiveness’. It would compromise the ability to rapidly re-deploy services personnel and would prove an ‘unnecessary drain on the public purse’, it was submitted.