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Rent Repayment Orders - better treatment for landlords in future?

A recent judgement may mean that future Rent Repayment Orders may be less severe than those in the past.

Many Rent Repayment Orders in recent years have appeared to default to demanding the landlord repay 100 per cent of the rent in a period - but a judge has now given First Tier Property Tribunals new guidance suggesting discretion could be used, without the entirety of the rent being the starting point for a settlement.

Instead, a decision in a recent appeal case to the Upper Tribunal - Acheampong v Roman & Ors and Choudhury v Razak & Ors - has set a new guidance for RROs. 


This means the order should take into consideration the full rent minus the cost of utilities, and in addition the RRO should take into consideration the offence’s seriousness compared to similar offences. 

It should then ask what proportion of the rent would be a fair reflection of these combined factors.

Sarah Cummins, a rent and landlord legal expert at the Anthony Gold law practice, says: “The guidance is helpful and should put an end to the practice of taking the full rent as the starting point and making deductions based on the statutory factors. 

“While it had already been confirmed in [an earlier case] Williams v Parmar that this was the wrong approach, [the judge]’s methodology should assist tribunals with their assessments particularly with ensuring the seriousness of the offence is properly considered before determining the starting point for the RRO.

“Whether this will lead to more consistent RRO awards is a different matter. 

“The Tribunal will need to evaluate the factors in the individual case and reach a conclusion on where on the scale of seriousness the offence lies. No doubt there will be differing views on this and future appeals may revolve around whether the tribunal has carried out that assessment correctly.”

You can read a more detailed account of the case and judgement that may lead to rethinking RROs here.

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  • icon

    A welcome decision the level rent repayment orders along with civil penalties are disproportionate to the harm. What harm does failure to license cause the tenant? None.

    Other landlords who did the proper thing and license will feel unjustifiably aggrieved if no action was taken against landlords who didn’t license but should they not be fined instead of these insidious occasionally contrived rent repayment orders where tenants deliberately introduce additional tenants into the property and then apply for rent repayment order ? Does speed kill? I don’t see many complaining about those who do. What about the person smoking next to you? Smoking definitely kills, do you say a smoker should lose a year salary for smoking in a non-smokers company?
    Jim Haliburton
    The HMODaddy



    Diverging somewhat from the topic, most smokers lose several years salary by dying earlier (or pension if they're lucky enough to live that long) just for smoking, whether alone or near non smokers.

    Personally I'm much in favour of benefit claimants smoking and believe they should get all the tobacco, alcohol and other drugs free to take as much of them as they want.

    Dead folk don't need benefits.

  • icon

    The whole basic of the System is to have everyone at each other’s throats.
    3 unrelated people sharing a property, must be licensed or landlord might get Rent repayment Order, could be fined £30k.
    6/8 or 10 vaguely related people don’t need a license, or Rent Re-payment or £30k penalty applicable.
    It’s called fairness…..


    10 Vaguely related people -- the all-day curry eaters who bring their great aunt and all their 3 times removed cozens over to live them --- all family so no licence required, and it happens time and again, and all on UC


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