Decisions - Residential Property Tribunal

You can search for decisions and reasons made by tribunals from 01 January 2005. Please note that from 1 July 2013, the functions of the Residential Property Tribunal Service in England have transferred to the First-tier Tribunal. All previous references to “rent assessment committees”, “Leasehold Valuation Tribunals” (LVTs) and “Residential Proeprty Tribunals “ (RPTs) on this webpage have been replaced with “tribunal”.

As soon as possible after they have dealt with the case tribunals will issue a single document explaining their decision.

Rent disputes

The decision process can be complex and is fully described in the relevant guidance notes. This section contains summary information that may not apply in all cases.

Fair rents

For regulated tenancies, the tribunal will determine a rent that reflects the current condition of the property in the open market after making adjustments to reflect any tenant's improvements and the 'scarcity element'.

The 'scarcity element' arises in localities where the number of people seeking to become tenants of similar properties substantially exceeds the number of properties available, thereby pushing the market rental values for comparable properties above what they would have otherwise been.

The tribunal will also take account of any services provided by the landlord, and whether the rent includes council tax.

In certain circumstances, the tribunal will apply the capping rules set out in the Rent Acts (Maximum Fair Rent) Order 1999 which, subject to certain conditions, links the amount by which fair rents can rise to percentage changes in the Retail Price Index. To find out more about how the capped rent is calculated you should read the guidance note on fair rents or contact the local rent assessment panel.

The final figure reached will be the fair rent.

Market rents

For assured tenancies, the tribunal will first decide whether it has jurisdiction if necessary by holding a preliminary hearing. If it decides it does have jurisdiction, the tribunal will determine a rent for the property that reflects what rent the landlord could reasonably expect to obtain in the open market if he were letting it on a new tenancy on the same terms as the present tenancy. This will include looking at rental values in the area for similar properties let on similar terms.

If the tenant has carried out improvements to the property, the tribunal will ignore any effects these might have on the rental value. Similarly, if the rental value has been decreased because of a failure to carry out repairs for which the tenant is responsible, the tribunal will value the property as if the repairs had been done. The tribunal will take account of any services provided by the landlord, and whether the rent includes council tax. It is important to note that the tribunal may determine a rent that is higher, lower or the same as that proposed by the Landlord.

For assured short hold tenancies where the application is made within the first six months of the tenancy, the tribunal will only determine a rent if it considers there are enough similar properties let locally on assured short hold tenancies and that the rent payable for the property in question is not significantly higher than the rents payable under those tenancies. If those conditions are met, the tribunal will determine the rent it considers the landlord might reasonably be expected to obtain.

Please see the Guidance Notes for information relating to other types of application.

The tribunal will usually make its decision called a 'determination' within a few days of the inspection / hearing. The case officer will write to you enclosing the decision notice stating the rent determined by the tribunal. This will state the date from which the rent determined will be payable. Tribunal determinations are issued in a standard register format.

You will not be given reasons for the decision unless you make a request for reasons within 28 days of receiving the decision. The time for appealing (see below) will start from the date the reasons are sent to you.

The tribunal determinations are binding on all parties, although there are specific grounds for appeal.

The tribunal have the power to issue correction certificates to rectify any clerical or accidental error or omission in a determination. (New wording needed)

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Leasehold, Housing Act 2004 and Park Home disputes

The tribunal will issue a document containing its decision and the reasons, usually within six weeks of the hearing. As a general rule the tribunal cannot order one party to pay another's costs but it can order one party to reimburse any fees paid by another.

In leasehold disputes only, if the tenant has made a section 20C application the tribunal has the power to make an order preventing the landlord recovering the costs of tribunal proceedings as part of the service charge.

The decision of a tribunal is binding upon the parties although there are rights of appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).

Tribunals have no enforcement powers but its orders are enforceable in the same way as County Court orders.

Appealing against a decision

You can appeal a decision of the tribunal to the Upper Tribunal (Land Chamber). To do so you must first obtain permission to appeal. An appeal form and guidance booklet can be found on HMCTS form finder. Permission must first be sought from the First-tier Tribunal. If you are refused permission to appeal by the First-tier Tribunal then you may go on to ask for permission from the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).

An application to the First-Tier Tribunal for permission to appeal must be made so that it is received by the Tribunal within 28 days after the date on which the Tribunal sends its reasons for the decision. If made after the 28 days, the application for permission may include a request for an extension of time with the reason why it was not made within time. Unless the application is made in time or within granted extended time, the tribunal must reject the application and refuse permission.

You must apply for the permission in writing, and you must:

  • identify the case by giving the address of the property concerned and the Tribunal’s reference number;
  • give the name and address of the applicant and any representative;
  • give the name and address of every respondent and any representative
  • identify the decision or the part of the decision that you want to appeal;
  • state the grounds of appeal and state the result that you are seeking;
  • sign and date the application
  • send a copy of the application to the other party/parties and in the application record that this has been done

The Tribunal will give the parties written notification of its decision. If permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) is granted, the applicant’s notice of intention to appeal must be sent to the registrar of the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) so that it is received by the registrar within 28 days of the date on which notice of the grant of permission was sent to the parties.

If the application to the Property Chamber for permission to appeal is refused, an application for permission to appeal may be made to the Upper Tribunal. An application to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) for permission must be made within 14 days of the date on which you were sent the refusal of permission by the First-tier Tribunal.

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