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For all enquiries and information call us on: 0845 600 3178

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Forms and guidance for applications and using RPTS services ...

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Home Frequently Asked Questions

We have collected together some of your most frequently asked questions onto these tabs. More detailed information is contained in the Guidance documents.


FAQs - Tenants

1. Which Panel should I send my application to?

The location of the property in dispute (often referred to as the "subject property") generally determines which RPTS regional Office will handle the case. You should therefore apply to the regional office in which the property in dispute is located. Details of the local authority areas covered by each RPTS region can be found on our contact us page or can be obtained by calling the RPTS National Help line on 0845 100 3178.

2. Where can I obtain an application form for the registration of a Fair Rent under the Rent Act 1977?

Application forms for the registration of a Fair Rent can be obtained from The Rent Officer Service for the local authority in which the property is situated. Alternatively a copy may also be obtained from the Rent Service Web site www.therentservice.gov.uk (new window)

3. Where can I obtain the Landlord's notice under section 13?

This form can be obtained from OtezStraker retail stores, Blackwells, Heffer's or the Stationery Office Bookshop. Alternatively you can obtain the form direct from OyezStraker by telephone (Tel 0870 737 7370) or via their web site www.oyezformslink.co.uk (new window)

4. Where can I obtain the tenants application under Section 13?

From a Residential Property Tribunal Office. Details of our offices can be found on the contact s page or from the RPTS National Help line on 0845 100 3178

5. Where can I obtain an application under Paragraph 11 to Schedule 5 of the Housing Act 1985?

From a Residential Property Tribunal Office. Details of our office can be found on our contact us page or from the RPTS National Help line on 0845 100 3178.

6. What points should I make in my written representations?

You should point out anything that you consider would have a bearing on the rent that can be determined by the Rent Assessment Committee. You can also comment on anything that the other party has written or has said at any hearing.

7. Will my personal circumstances be taken into account when determining the rent?

For applications dealt with under the Rent Act 1977 i.e. an objection to the registered fair rent, personal circumstances such as the means of the Landlord or Tenant must be ignored by the Rent Assessment Committee in reaching its decision. For Applications received under the Housing Act 1988 only in the following circumstances. If as a result of a Landlord having served notice on a tenant under Section 13 of the Housing Act 1988 proposing a new rent increase, the tenant applies to the rent Assessment Committee to determine the market rent, any increase in the rent will take effect from the date specified in the Landlords notice. A tenant who considers that this would cause him or her undue hardship can seek to persuade the committee that this is indeed the case and the Committee should fix a later date of the Committee's decision.

8. Do I have the legal right to refuse the Committee access to inspect my property

Yes

9. Do I have the right to refuse my Landlord entry to my property during an inspection?

Yes, but the Committee may not consider it appropriate to inspect the property where one of the parties has been excluded.

10. Can I say anything at the inspection in support of my application?

Both parties can draw attention to any physical aspect of the property that they wish the Committee/Tribunal to see. However parties may not make any representations during the inspection - representations must be made at the hearing or have been made in writing.

11. How does the Rent Assessment Committee reach its decision when deciding a Fair Rent ?

The Rent Act 1977, Section 70, requires a Committee to have regard to the following factors when deciding what a fair rent for the property is: the age, character, locality and state of repair of the property, the quality and condition of any furniture provided under the tenancy.

12. How does the Rent Assessment Committee reach its decision when deciding a Market Rent?

Following a Section 13 application the Committee will first decide whether it has jurisdiction. For example it may consider the validity of the landlord's notice and whether the application has been received on time. If it decides that it does have jurisdiction the committee will then proceed, under Section 14, to decide what the 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. It is important to note the rent determined could be higher or lower, or the same as that proposed in the landlord's notice.

13. Where can I view past RPT decisions?

Decisions can be inspected at the RPTS office for the area in which the property lies. Alternatively you can view decisions from our decisions archive.

14. What if there are some administrative errors in my decision?

Rent Assessment Committees and Leasehold Valuation Tribunals have the power to issue correction certificates to rectify any clerical or accidental error or omission in a decision.

15. Is there a right of appeal against the Rent Assessment Committee's decision?

You can appeal to the High Court, under the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992, if you consider that the Committee has made a mistake of law. You must do so within 28 days of the receipt of full reasons for the decision or within such longer period as the High Court might permit. Alternatively, if you consider that there has been a breach of the rules of natural justice you could seek leave from the High Court to challenge the decision by way of a process known as "judicial review". Such leave should ordinarily be sought not later than three months from the above date. You should take legal advice if you consider that there might be grounds for High Court proceedings.

16. If I am unhappy with a Committee decision, to whom can I complain?

The Residential Property Tribunal Service will not consider complaints about decisions on cases or the way in which a Committee conducted proceedings: these should properly be the subject of a formal appeal to the High Court.

The RPTS does, however, have a formal complaints procedure for handling other types of complaint. A copy of our complaints procedure leaflet is available from our offices and from this web site.

17. Can I request a postponement at the hearing if I needed more time to submit new evidence?

Yes. The Residential Property Tribunal has discretion to grant a postponement but will need to be convinced that it is justified in the circumstances of the case.

18. Is there a right of appeal against the Residential Property Tribunal's decision?

You can appeal to the High Court, under the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992, if you consider that the Committee has made a mistake of law. You must do so within 28 days of the receipt of full reasons for the decision or within such longer period as the High Court might permit. Alternatively, if you consider that there has been a breach of the rules of natural justice you could seek leave from the High Court to challenge the decision by way of a process known as "judicial review". Such leave should ordinarily be sought not later than three months from the above date. You should take legal advice if you consider that there might be grounds for High Court proceedings

19. If I am unhappy with the Committee decision, to whom should I complain?

The Residential Property Tribunal Service will not consider complaints about decisions on cases or the way in which a Committee conducted proceedings: these should properly be the subject of a formal appeal to the High Court.

The RPTS does, however, have a formal complaints procedure for handling other types of complaint. A copy of our complaints procedure leaflet is available from our offices and from this web site.

20. How does the committee reach its decision?

The Residential Property Tribunal will first decide whether it has jurisdiction. If it decides that it does have jurisdiction the tribunal will proceed to decide whether the Local Housing Authority may refuse to let the tenant buy their home on the grounds that it is particularly suitable for occupation by elderly people (under the provisions of paragraph 11 of Schedule 5 to the Housing Act 1985).

21. Can I view past RPT decisions?

Yes. Decisions made by Residential Property Tribunals will be made available on this web site and may also be inspected at the RPTS office covering the area in which the property is located.

22. What if there are some administrative errors in my decision?

Residential Property Tribunals have the power to issue correction certificates to rectify any clerical or accidental error or omission in a decision.

23.(For tenants living in London) Can I request a domiciliary hearing instead of coming to central London because of recent bomb incidents?

No. Domiciliary hearings may be arranged where a party is unable, usually for health reasons, to travel to central London .