Tenancy rights for gay men

The Law Lords are being asked to hear an appeal centring on the tenancy succession rights of homosexuals. Last July the Court of Appeal upheld a 1996 Central London County Court ruling that Martin Fitzpatrick, who had lived in stable relationship with named tenant of flat in London W6 for nearly 20 years, was not entitled to take over tenancy when his partner died. The Rent Act 1977 specifies that succession rights apply only to spouses or family members of the deceased. Fitzpatrick argues that his relationship with the deceased equated to that of husband and wife and as such he was entitled to take over tenancy.