Free Webinar - Taking action against rogue landlords: securing rent repayment orders and enforcing housing standards

Monday 5 February 2024

This webinar was brought to you by the Garden Court Housing Team.

Date: Monday 5 February 2024
Time: 5.00pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Housing Law

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Tackling Rogue Landlords, poor housing conditions and improving the standard of tenanted accommodation in both the private and public sector has been a major part of legislative reform from 2004. This has included: The Housing Act 2004, The Housing and Planning Act 2016, Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, and the Renters (Reform) Bill 2023 – 24.

One of the key reforms, particularly with the Housing and Planning Act 2016, was to create an effective “tenants army” to drive Rogue Landlords and their agents out of business in the private sector, with reform of the use of Rent Repayments Orders to prosecute rogue landlords from breach of licencing, and other regulatory requirements in a specialist tribunal. Further, the Home (FFHH) Act 2018 was designed to improve housing conditions in the private and public sector, and enhance tenants' ability to tackle disrepair and poor housing conditions in the county court.

In this seminar, speakers considered the effective use of Rent Repayment Orders in challenging rogue landlords in the private sector, evaluate weaknesses and further need for reform. They will particularly consider how the Renters (Reform) Bill and other pieces of new legislation propose to enhance tenants' rights, by the extension of the powers of tribunals in making Rent Repayment Orders and other regulatory reform to improve housing conditions, and enhance tenants’ rights.

Further, speakers considered the development of the effective use of disrepair and fitness for human habitation claims within the county court in civil actions. There was an update on housing conditions legislation and case law, including “Awaab’s Law”, the implementation of which is currently under consultation.

Speaker Panel

Edward Fitzpatrick, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Edward is a specialist housing barrister with a particular interest in homelessness appeals, public law challenges and cases involving Human Rights and Equality Act issues. Edward also undertakes a range of regulatory and property law cases. Edward seeks to provide effective representations for applicants/tenants in all spheres of housing and related work, adopting a measured and pragmatic approach. He is ranked for Social Housing in both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar Guide 2024.

Catherine O'Donnell, Garden Court Chambers
Since coming to the bar, Catherine has built up extensive experience in a range of courts and tribunals, including the Court of Appeal, and has dedicated her practice to defending individuals' economic, social and human rights. Catherine's housing practice spans the whole range of tenancy and housing matters, includes possession (anti-social behaviour, rent, breach of tenancy, tenancy status, sub-letting, succession, beneficial interests, public law), anti-social behaviour injunctions, unlawful eviction, and disrepair. Catherine is ranked in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2024 and in the Legal 500 2024 for Social Housing.

Tim Baldwin, Garden Court Chambers
Tim’s practice concerns all aspects social housing working including possession, disrepair and housing standards work, homelessness, allocation of social housing, community care including migrant support. Tim’s practice in housing and homelessness is largely in the High Court or Appellate courts or in complex specialist proceedings in the County Court.

His practice is also linked to mental health, mental capacity and disability discrimination work, and cased in the Court of Protection. Tim is ranked as a leading junior in the Chambers UK and Legal 500 for social housing and ranked in other linked practice areas such as Community Care/Court of Protection and Administrative Law and human Rights.

Tim is an elected member of the Housing Law Practitioners Association Executive Committee and a was member of the subcommittee concerning the Grenfell Tower disaster. He was appointed to the Advisory Panel for the Legal Aid Practitioners Group in 2020. Tim, alongside Ed Fitzpatrick, represented the unsuccessful Appellants in the Supreme Court case of Rakusen v Jepsen [2023] UKSC 9 on RROs the liability of superior landlords, and subsequently, with Ed assisting in advising DLUC in instructing Parliamentary Counsel in the Renters (Reform) Bill to capture superior landlord under RROs and to increase the period of liability for two years, thus reversing the effect of the Supreme Court decision.

Al Mcclenahan, Justice for Tenants
Al is the founder of Justice for Tenants (JFT), a non-profit organisation. JFT aims to improve standards for renters, educates tenants about their rights so they are empowered and can share this knowledge with other tenants, and provides training and support services for local authorities to increase the amount of enforcement they take via Rent Repayment Orders and Civil Financial Penalties.

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