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Rent Assessment Committees
Despite its formal title the Rent Assessment Committee ("RAC") is a tribunal of two or three people set up by law under the provisions of the Rent Act 1977. It is an independent decision making body which is completely unconnected to the parties or any other public agency. The Committee will look at the matter of the rent dispute for the property following an application to the Committee.
Who will deal with the matter once an application has been made to the RAC?
From the time that the application is received a number of different people will deal with the paperwork involved and the parties. These include the following:
The clerks are the administrative staff who will deal with correspondence. When the reference or application is received it is the clerk who will begin to process the application. The clerk will continue to deal with the paperwork until you have received a final decision in your case. The clerks are able to speak to you about the processes and procedures relating to your application. They cannot give general legal advice or advise you about the law relating to your application. Each Rent Assessment Panel has a Regional Manager who is responsible for the work of the clerks.
The Committee Members
There are two types of member:
- The Chairman: he or she is appointed to be a Chairman by the Lord Chancellor. A Chairman may be a lawyer or a valuer (a surveyor who has expertise in valuation). Exceptionally, the chairman may be a lay person. The Chairman is responsible for the smooth running of the proceedings and will write up the reasons for the Committee's decision.
- Other members: other members are appointed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Again, they may be lawyers or valuers or lay people.
When a Committee is set up to consider an application there will usually be three, but occasionally two, members including the Chairman.
The Panel President
Each Panel has a President, assisted by one or more Vice Presidents, who is responsible for the members and in particular decides which members should be appointed to hear and decide a particular case. He or she will not be involved in the decision regarding a case unless they are on the RAC dealing with that case.
A more complete description of the procedures for applications dealt with by an RAC is contained in Rent Disputes.