Does the right to peacefully enjoy one’s (residential/real) property [and possessions…] in the ECHR guarantee/protect the right to let it out to others for them to inhabit in exchange for rent?

In other words, as this appears in the ECHR it is made somehow transcendental and more fundamental than other laws. And it seems to exalt the ability to “enjoy“ or benefit from one’s belongings. What I am wondering is, whether this exaltation extends to real, residential property, like a flat or house, and even more to the point, if it extends to a larger portfolio of multiple such pieces of real, residential property, and does it extend to the right to derive benefit from the temporary exchange value (ie, does the protected right to “enjoy” it include the right to exchange or sell the right of enjoying it for a temporary period to others), or does it only include directly enjoying the use value of this type of property?

Of course, the answer may be that it covers the right live without undue encumbrances in ones own home, to a very high and fundamental degree, as well as the right to let out further properties to tenants but to a less absolute degree. For example, it may be that the ECHR doesn’t protect the right to be a residential landlord absolutely and unconditionally, so maybe restrictions on the ability to become a mogul slumlord like Peter Rachman is congruent with ECHR art. 1, but excessive restrictions on the ability to let out one or two additional residential properties to the one you inhabit are not.

  • Possibly, to a certain extent and with some caveats. If this gets reopened, I'll offer an answer
    – user35069
    Apr 1, 2023 at 18:25
  • @Rick, I look to that. But what, specifically, does your 'possibly' remark refer to? Apr 1, 2023 at 18:45
  • *look forward to @Rick Apr 8, 2023 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


Future income constitutes a “possession” only if the income has been earned or where an enforceable claim to it exists (Ian Edgar (Liverpool) Ltd v. the United Kingdom; Wendenburg and Others v. Germany; Levänen and Others v. Finland; Anheuser-Busch Inc. v. Portugal; Denisov v. Ukraine).

Conversely, the volume of business enjoyed by a liberal profession – with no fixed income and no guaranteed turnover – which is subject to the hazards of economic life does not constitute a “possession” (Greek Federation of Customs Officers, Gialouris and Others v. Greece, Commission decision).

(quoted from Guide on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights, last updated 2022-08-31)

Rent is a form of future income, assuming that there is an enforcable claim (i.e. an actual rental contract). You obviously aren't entitled to rent if you can't find a renter, or if your existing renter terminates the contract.

Having said that, I think you utterly misunderstand the ECHR. "For example, it may be that the ECHR doesn’t protect the right to be a residential landlord absolutely and unconditionally". Well obviously it doesn't. The very same article says in the second paragraph that governments are entitled to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest.

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