Appeals And The Residential Property Tribunal

Introduction

Under the old legislation appeals against decisions relating to the fitness standard or in respect of houses in multiple occupation went to the County Court. This jurisdiction is now to be transferred to the Residential Property Tribunals (RPT). These are the Rent Assessment Committee by another name and already exercise jurisdiction of Leasehold Valuation Tribunals. They normally comprise a legally qualified Chairman, a surveyor member and a lay person. They are intended to be a specialist tribunal. They are intended to be less formal without costs sanctions except where there is unreasonable behaviour on the part of one of the parties.

Appeals Relating to Improvement Notices

There is power to serve improvement notices to enforce Housing Health And Safety Rating System (HHSRS) requirements. There is a general right to appeal but the person on whom improvement notices serve may appeal to the RPT on the basis that either (a) he or she is not the person who should be required to take action or (b) that a different course of action namely the making of a prohibition order, the serving of a hazard awareness notice or the making of a demolition order should be taken as an alternative.

A relevant person may appeal against the decision to vary an improvement notice or a decision to refuse or revoke or vary the notice. It is important to note that an appeal must be made within a period of 21 days beginning with the date of which the improvement notice is served as any other appeal must be made within a period of 28 days of the relevant decision.

The Tribunal has power to confirm quash or vary the improvement notice. There is a re-hearing

Prohibition Orders

Such a notice served under Housing Health And Safety Rating System (HHSRS) will prohibit the use of the w hole or part of a property.

A relevant person may appeal to the RPT against the making of a prohibition order. This is a general right of appeal but again an appeal may be made specifically that an alternative course of action should be taken, namely the serving of an improvement notice, a hazard awareness notice or the making of a demolition order. Similarly an appeal can be made against the decision to vary a prohibition order or an order refusing to revoke or vary it. This must be made within 28 days of the date of the order.

The appeal is by way of rehearing and the tribunal may confirm quash or vary the prohibition order.

Enforcement of Improvement Notices

This allows the Local Authority to take action in relation to the enforcement of improvement notices. These powers include allowing the Local Authority to recover expenses from the person on whom the improvement notice is served. That person may appeal against the decision to recover monies within a period of 21 days beginning from the date of service of the notice to the Tribunal.

Licences

Local Authorities have been given new powers to licence houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and that for the first time there is now a national system requiring the licences of certain categories of HMO. Local Housing Authorities also have a power to introduce a selective licensing system for private landlords in their area. There is a right of appeal against a refusal to grant the licence or on the grant of the licence as to the terms of the licence. There is a similar right of appeal in relation to a decision to vary or revoke a licence or to refuse to make such orders. The licence holder or relevant person has 28 days in which to bring this appeal and the Tribunal may confirm, reverse or vary the decision of the Local Authority or direct the authority to grant the relevant licence.

Management Orders

A relevant person including the landlord may appeal against the decision to make an interim or final Management Order or against the terms of such an order. Such an appeal must be bought within 28 days of the day on which the person has been notified and again the Tribunal may confirm vary or revoke the order.

Should a landlord consider an appeal

Landlords faced with licence conditions to which they object or served with improvement notices prohibition orders etc should therefore consider an appeal. There is a limited time for the appeal although there is power to extend time for appealing for good reason. There is a risk of a costs sanction if the landlord acts unreasonably in connection with an appeal (an adverse costs award of possibly up to £500) but otherwise there is no costs sanction. Each side otherwise bears their own costs. The down side of an appeal is that even the landlord is on strong grounds and wins he will not recover his costs (subject to the possibility of obtaining an order of up to £500.00 against the local authority if they act unreasonably). The upside, however, is that the landlord is not at risk of an adverse costs order. Under the old system for appeals in the County Court the normal rule that costs follow the event usually applied. One has to say that someone who is legally represented before a Tribunal is more likely to be successful in practice. Whilst Tribunals are more informal than Courts their proceedings are somewhat structured e.g. provision of proper witness statements in advance of the hearing. Unlike a Judge a Tribunal will invariably inspect the property before the hearing.

Appeals to Lands Tribunal

An appeal lies to the Lands Tribunal from the RPT but only with the permission of the RPT or the Lands Tribunal itself and within the required time limit. Appeals can only be made as a point of law.

How to appeal

Further details on how to appeal to a tribunal, and the relevant appeal forms are available from the Residential Property Tribunal Appeal Service at www.rpts.gov.uk, Enquiry Line 0845 600 3178. For details of RPTS Offices – see below.

Addresses/area covered by Residential Property Tribunals

  1. London – London Rent Assessment Panel
  2. Residential Property Tribunal Service
    10 Alfred Place
    London WC1E 7LR
    Telephone: 0207 446 7700
    Email: London.rap@communites.gsi.gov.uk

    This office covers all the London Boroughs.

  3. Manchester – Northern Rent Assessment Panel
  4. Residential Property Tribunal Service
    First Floor
    26 York Street
    Manchester M1 4JB
    Telephone: 0845 100 2614
    Email: northern.rap@communities.gsi.gov.uk

    This office covers the following metropolitan districts:

    Barnsley, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Calderdale, Doncaster, Gateshead, Kirklees, Knowsley, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Oldham, Rochdale, Rotherham, St. Helens, Salford, Sefton, Sheffield, South Tyneside, Stockport, Sunderland, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield, Wigan and Wirral.

    It covers the following unitary authorities:

    Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Darlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, Halton, Hartlepool, Kingston upon Hull, Middlesborough, North-east Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees, Warrington and York.

    It also covers the following counties:

    Cheshire, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

  5. Birmingham - Midlands Rent Assessment Panel
  6. Residential Property Tribunal Service
    2nd Floor
    East Wing
    Ladywood House
    45-46 Stephenson Street
    Birmingham B2 4DH
    Telephone: 0845 100 2615 or 0121 643 8336
    Email: midland.rap@communities.gsi.gov.ukl

    This office covers the following metropolitan districts:

    Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton.

    It also covers the following unitary authorities:

    Derby, Herefordshire, Leicester, Nottingham, Telford and Wrekin and Stoke on Trent.

    It also covers the following counties:

    Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

  7. Cambridge – Eastern Rent Assessment Panel
  8. Residential Property Tribunal Service
    Great Eastern House
    Tenison Road
    Cambridge CB1 2TR
    Telephone: 0845 100 2616 or 01223 505112
    Email: eastern.rap@communities.gsi.gov.uk

    This office also covers the following unitary authorities:

    Bracknell Forest, Luton, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Reading, Slough, Southend on Sea, Thurrock, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham.

    It also covers the following counties:

    Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Suffolk.

  9. Chichester – Southern Rent Assessment Pane
  10. Residential Property Tribunal Service
    1st Floor
    1 Market Avenue
    Chichester PO19 1JU
    Telephone: 0845 100 2617 or 01243 779394
    Email: southern.rap@communities.gsi.gov.uk

    This office also covers the following unitary authorities:

    Bath and North-east Somerset, Bournemouth, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, the Isle of Wight, Medway, North Somerset, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Southampton, South Gloucestershire, Swindon and Torbay.

    It also covers the following counties:

    Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Somerset, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire.

    Corporate Unit
    Residential Property Tribunal Service
    10 Alfred Place
    London WC1E 7LR
    Telephone: 020 7446 7751 or 020 7446 7752
    Email: rptscorporateunit@communities.gsi.gov.uk

This document was last updated on: 17/05/2007

General Disclaimer

IMPORTANT: Our website (including the Unique Property Selector) can only give general guidance. You always need to specifically check the status of any property individually and take appropriate advice including general guidance from the local authority where it is located.

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