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Get Rent Back Flat Justice home RRO Rent Repayment Order Advice

Case Law

 

What we know about Rent Repayment Order judgments:

2 Upper Tribunal judgments have guided the way in which Residential Property Tribunals interpret the law: Parker v Waller [2012] UKUT 301 (LC) and Fallon v Wilson & Ors [2014] UKUT 0300 (LC).

Mainly Parker v Waller.

But both cases pre-date the new 2016 legislation which was brought in to strengthen punishments for rogue landlords as the previous legislation (2004) was perceived to be inadequate.

Main points of interest to post-2016 from the above cases:

·        Mortgage payments by landlords need not be considered in deductions from an RRO. This is often misreported but here is the text of the President’s decision:

[…as the mortgage was more recent than the house purchase…]“I am not satisfied, therefore, that the mortgage costs should be brought into the reckoning.” p21.Parker v Waller

There has been no clear indication that mortgage costs can be accounted for: we would argue that they are not an additional cost caused by letting to tenants. By allowing mortgage costs, a tribunal would be rewarding the property ownership by a landlord that has broken the law. This is an important point that needs emphasising at tribunal hearings: a property mortgaged to the hilt may not even be making any profit for the landlord who is relying on capital appreciation of the asset (and/or depreciation of the loan through inflation). A common business model in buy-to-let world.

·       The RRO is to be seen as a punishment of the landlord and the amount awarded should consider any previous fine imposed for the same offence. Consequently, RRO awards may be lower for landlords already fined.

·       The fact that a tenant has ‘benefited’ from accommodation should not affect the level of RRO awarded, as that is a necessary precursor for bringing the action in the first place

·       A professional landlord and/or one using a professional agent should be judged more harshly than an amateur: they must have known what they were doing. By the same token, any evidence that shows that a landlord deliberately ignored the legislation should increase the sum of the RRO awarded. Also, having become aware of their offence, any delay in applying for a licence should also increase the RRO awarded

·       Parker v Waller discounted evidence of bad landlord behaviour in other respects, such as harassment, arguing that only behaviour relating to the licensing offence should be considered. However, the new legislation (2016) specifically targets what are termed “rogue” landlords and allows judgment on harassment allegations as well as licensing offences

·       A corollary to the disallowance of consideration of landlord behaviour in other respects is that tenant behaviour has to be considered completely irrelevant with respect to flouting of licensing laws which is obviously the responsibility only of the landlord.

·     Get information on RRO judgments here.....sorry but RPT links only provide out of date judgments (pre-2016). We have been requesting that these be made available & will update with working links ASAP

 




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