Home > Our people > Barristers > Morayo Fagborun Bennett
Morayo Fagborun Bennett
  • We take data and privacy issues very seriously. See our privacy policy.

"She is calm, well prepared and fights her cases with determination and skill."

Chambers UK

"Excellent in every respect; one of the housing Bar’s most consistent performers."

Legal 500

Morayo specialises in all areas of landlord and tenant and real property law.

Her social housing background has been used to develop a strong residential L&T practice. Her background in local government and public law makes her uniquely placed to handle complicated issues arising in mixed use property developments, whether involving the residential, commercial or social housing units.

Morayo came to the law after graduating in philosophy and theology from St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She is a recommended junior in Social Housing in the latest edition of Chambers UK and Legal 500. She is the author of Chapter 9 “Hoarders and Nuisance neighbours” in the online Lexis Nexis book Social Housing Law in Practice.  She is a Consulting Editorial Board Member for Public Law and Local Government with Lexis PSL and a member of the Metropolitan Police legal services panel.

Recent cases include Charalambous v Ng [2014] EWCA Civ 1604 (tenancy deposit schemes), Coope v Ward [2015] EWCA Civ 30 (easement of support and measured duty of care) and Farah v Hillingdon LBC [2014] EWCA Civ 359 (intentionality and homelessness).

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

Morayo advocates in and provides advice in a wide variety of commercial L&T claims and cases involving mixed-use developments and buildings. Recent cases have concerned break clauses, dilapidations, disputed 1954 Act renewals, breach of covenant and forfeiture.

Related work:

  • Morayo acted for Mr Patel the leaseholder of a mixed use building after he sub-let the residential parts of the building in breach of his lease. He brought a claim for wrongful forfeiture, damages and relief from forfeiture following his landlord’s physical re-entry into the commercial part of the mixed-use property and offer of new tenancy agreements to his sub-tenants who occupied the residential part of the property.
  • Tovagliari v Katz: Representing appellant in Court of Appeal permission proceedings following rectification of a commercial lease which was contracted out of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and rendered the notice to renew invalid.
  • Gjoka v Hassa: Acting for landlord in forfeiture proceedings following the tenant’s denial of his title
  • Osman v Omunua (Queens Bench Division) Representing the second Defendant in contempt of court proceedings when a direct debit to the Claimant’s mortgage company was cancelled in contravention of an injunction order. Application dismissed due to defects in the Claimant’s application to commit. Obtained an order for costs against the Claimant.
  • True Pearl Limited v Khudeir: Duties of an involuntary bailee following the forfeit by the leaseholder of her non-residential lease.
  • Julian Litvinoff: Renewal of business tenancies concerned with issues under s37(1C)(a) and (b)(ii) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, compensation to the tenant by the landlord where the latter has served a section 25 objecting to the notice for the grant of a new lease on ground 30(1)(f).
  • Nanda v Muhith and Rahman: Representing a landlord in dealing with the effect and damages flowing from a tenant unilaterally vacating the premises prior to expiry of the lease due to the recession.
  • Havering v Gabriel: Concerning the interim and market rent under Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 for a laundrette in a parade of shops with restrictive covenants.

Housing (Social & Privately Rented)

Morayo acts in social housing matters relating to possession proceedings for matters including rent arrears, trespass, subletting, succession, only or principal home, nuisance and anti-social behaviour. She also acts in anti-social behaviour injunctions, committals, unlawful eviction, homelessness, community care and disrepair cases.

In the Magistrates’ court, Morayo has considerable experience handling statutory nuisance, HMO licence and EPA 1990, council tax and business rates proceedings dealing with liability orders, applications to set aside such orders and appealing abatement notices.

She regularly advising and represents in statutory homelessness appeals (section 204 housing act 1996 homelessness appeals and section 204A housing act 1996 appeals for interim accommodation pending appeal), cases involving children ineligible for social housing through the HA 1996, applications seeking judicial review of homelessness and allocation decisions (applications seeking a review decision and interim accommodation pending review) and drafting policy documents.

Related work:

  • Charalambous and Karali v Ng and Ng[2014] EWCA Civ 1604: A landlord was precluded from serving a notice seeking possession under the Housing Act 1988 s21 where the tenant’s deposit had not been paid into an authorised scheme as required by the Housing Act 2004 s213, notwithstanding the fact that when the deposit was originally paid, there had been no obligation to pay it into an authorised scheme.
  • De Santos v Hill-Jones: Morayo represented the landlord in unlawful eviction proceedings in which the former tenant sought substantial damages following 7 months of being street homeless. The period of compensation was limited to 8 weeks and no award for special, aggravated or exemplary damages was made.
  • East Homes v Shah: Successfully obtained outright possession order in multi-day possession case against tenant subletting part of the property (basement and garden shed).
  • Singh v Sanctuary Housing: A large family was moved to inadequate temporary accommodation for 7 months and there was outstanding disrepair upon their return to the property.
  • Botham v Newark & Sherwood District Council: Successfully persuaded judge that Council had erred when it concluded that appellant made himself intentionally homeless when he moved his pregnant girlfriend who had been sleeping on her parent’s sofa into his bedsit.
  • Clark v Affinity;: Disrepair case applying Simmons v Castle to compensation calculated as a notional reduction in rent.
  • Farah v Hillingdon LBC [2014] EWCA Civ 359: In conducting a review of an applicant’s eligibility for accommodation under the Housing Act 1996 s.202, a reviewing officer had failed to give reasons for accepting the correctness of a housing officer’s conclusion that the applicant’s accommodation had been affordable and that she had become homeless intentionally by failing to pay her rent when it fell due. The review decision was set aside and remitted for reconsideration by another housing officer.
  • Supple v FMH and Oakwood: A disrepair claim concerning recently built design and build accommodation. The tenant brought a disrepair claim against FMH, who had in turn brought a Part 20 claim for an indemnity and/or contribution against the property developers concerning the construction of the roof within the warranty period.
  • LB Greenwich v Johnson: Successfully obtained an outright possession order for a local authority on grounds 1 and 3 of Sch 2 of HA 85 in a hoarding case in which the tenant refused to accept any assistance from the local authority to clear and repair the deteriorating property.
  • Poplar Harca v Philips: Using the Housing Act 1996 to obtain an ASBI against a pirate radio station DJ preventing him from entering blocks of flats owned by the housing association or installing his equipment within the building or within Tower Hamlets.
  • Francis v FMH: Successfully represented a housing association in a three day hearing to determine whether the Claimant was entitled to an order for specific performance and damages for breach of a Tomlin Order following settlement of the disrepair case.
  • SOHA v Over: The court considered whether a requirement that a potential successor “lived with” with the tenant “during the 12 months” before her death meant throughout the 12 months or merely during the course of 12 months. The court held that “lived with during” was ambiguous.
  • FMH v Streatfield v Canavan: Whether a tenancy agreement granted by a body which could grant secure tenancy prior to 15th Jan 1989, remained a secure tenancy if the granting body changed its name or amalgamated.
  • R (M) v LB Croydon (CO/5207/2012): Concerned whether the local authority erred in providing M with B&B accommodation whilst it sought supported lodging for him and the significance of the fact that M moved or was evicted from his alternative accommodation. Held – M was not entitled to his costs of seeking an interim injunction once the local authority had identified supported lodgings for him.
  • R (Ambrose) v Westminster Council( CO/7671/2010): Representing the Claimant in a judicial review to determine what duties were owed to her and her step son following their being placed in temporary accommodation within another borough, whilst the child still attended a school within Westminster. Case revisited Stewart v Wandsworth, considering the provision of accommodation to those with children of school age outside the Housing Act 1996.

Leasehold & Leasehold Management

Morayo is regularly instructed in residential service charge disputes for both landlords and leaseholders. She also gives advice and acts in cases concerned with commercial and residential leaseholder management issues.

She handles a wide variety of claims including service charge recovery claims, forfeiture proceedings in residential and commercial properties, disputes concerning major works, breaches of repair, nuisance and sub-letting covenants, cases requiring strategic advice on the recoverability of legal costs, mixed-use developments and estate rent charges disputes.

She has recently provided and is able to provide seminars and workshops on service charges in mixed used development, forfeiture and legal costs.

Related work:

  • QLTA which was required to be dealt with under a public notice: Advising a housing association landlord on whether they were required to further consult their leaseholders pursuant to section 20 LTA 1985 following the revision of one of their Qualifying Long Term Agreements and on dispensation
  • Estate rent charges: Represented Gallions Housing Associationin a series of Rentcharges Act 1977 cases concerning the payability of estate charges by freeholders on the Thamesmead Estate.
  • London Borough of Camden Home Ownership Services v Olaniyan and Oshibote: Assisted leaseholder in defending service charge claim by recovering substantial damages in his disrepair counterclaim against freeholders following Right to Buy scheme.
  • Riverside Heights Management Company v Moffatt, CAM/33UG/LSC/2013/0093: Acting for landlord to recover service charges, administrative charges and costs. County court proceedings were transferred to the FTT for determination of the reasonableness of the service and administrative charges. Matter transferred to county court for enforcement and determination of contractual costs.
  • Poplar Harca v Altman, LON/00BG/ 2009/0072: Decision of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal on an application under s168(4) of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Management company found to be in breach of a lease it had sublet to the local authority’s Homeless Persons Unit (“HPU”) as a result of noise nuisance caused by HPU’s non-secure tenant.

Real Property & Mortgages

Morayo’s practice includes property development, boundary disputes, adverse possession, measured duty of care, easements, land registration, restrictive covenants, mortgages and other charges including estate charges, neighbour and party wall disputes. Morayo is also a regular contributor to the Lexis PSL Property Q&A.

Related work:

  • Provided strategic advice to a Parish Council on the regulatory framework to ensure it complied with the statutory requirements for receiving a gift of property for the benefit of the community.
  • Coope v Ward [2015] EWCA Civ 30: The trial judge had found that an easement of support had been extinguished as a result of excessive use and that the retaining wall collapsed as a result of the overloading of the higher land over the years. Concerned whether there was a measured duty of care between adjoining landlords in respect of a retaining wall following its collapse and the extent of such a duty. Court of Appeal found that such a duty could exist but that it did not extend to requiring the Coopes to contribute to the cost of some unspecified engineering solution in relation to the wall
  • Deadman v Singh: Mrs Deadman purchased a property for £77k in 2001 and in November 2009, she sold the unencumbered property for £20k apparently to discharge unsecured debts of around £7,500. She subsequently brought a claim to set aside the sale on grounds of unconscionable bargain and fraudulent misrepresentation. Singh argued that any special disadvantage that Mrs Deadman was under was mitigated by having independent legal advice from conveyancing solicitors. HHJ Simpkiss decided both claims in Mrs Deadman’s favour.
  • Braithwaite v Robin F Clark & Co Solicitors & Jerome John and Wayne Hyde: Concerned vendor’s lien and unilateral notice in a professional negligence claim involving jointly instructed conveyance solicitors and breach of contract claim against buyer after failure to pay purchase price.
  • Mortgage Express v Kennedy: Possession proceedings concerned with whether the wife fraudulently secured loans on the property which was in her vulnerable husband’s sole name.
  • Gadhavi v Bassi: Injunction and damages claim concerning party wall, boundaries and trespass following the erection of an extension between neighbouring properties.

Directory recommendations

Morayo is recommended by both Chambers UK and Legal 500 for Social Housing. The directories note:

  • “A vivacious barrister who takes on big cases with great skill”. (Chambers UK)
  • “Excellent in every respect; one of the housing Bar’s most consistent performers” (Legal 500)
  • “Solicitors like her and she genuinely knows her stuff” (Chambers UK)
  • “Very conscientious and collaborative to work with” (Legal 500)
  • She’s excellent – incredibly thorough” (Chambers UK)

Professional associations

  • Property Bar Association
  • Women in Property
  • HLPA
  • SHLA
  • ALBA
  • BPBU
  • FRU

Qualifications

  • BVC (Outstanding)
  • CPE (Commendation)
  • MA (Westminster) Crime, Human Rights and the International Community (Distinction)
  • MA (Oxon) Philosophy and Theology
  • Buchanan Prize 2004
  • IDS Brief Prize for Employment Law 2004
  • Sibel Dedezade Pro Bono Award 2004
  • Hardwicke Scholar 2003
  • Lord Bowen Scholar 2002
  • ADR ODR Accredited Mediator

Publications

  • Social Housing Law in Practice, Lexis Nexis

CSR

  • Member of Chambers’ CSR and EDI committees
  • FRU and BPBU
  • Pupil supervisor
  • Speaker at pupillage talks for BPTC students and involved in increasing participation of BAME and other underrepresented groups in the legal profession
  • Tough Mudder (half) for charity
  • Foundation member of the BNLF Women’s Network
Menu