Edward Fitzpatrick and Tim Baldwin were instructed by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to assist with formulating instructions to Parliamentary Counsel on the Government’s amendments to Chapter 4 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to enable the First Tier Tribunal to make Rent Repayment Orders "RRO" against both immediate and superior landlords.
These amendments, introduced on the 15 November 2023, are provided for under the Renters (Reform) Bill. The amendments amend s 44 and 45 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to increase the maximum amount that a landlord will have to pay to a tenant or local authority from 12 months, to up to two years rent. The Tribunal will also have the power to apportion liability between the immediate and superior landlord for the amount due under the RRO or to be severally or jointly liable.
These proposed amendments will reverse the effect of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Rakusen v Jepsen  UKSC 9 where the unsuccessful Appellants were represented by Ed and Tim instructed by Simon Mullins of Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre. Click here to read our news item on the judgment.
The proposed amendments can be found at pages 52 – 53 Renters (Reform) Bill (Amendment Paper) (parliament.uk) and are described in The Independent Landlord™ blog, 'The New Rent Repayment Orders rules' and the Landlord Zone blog 'Landmark rent Rent Repayment Order case to be overturned'.
Jacob Young MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities introduced the amendment, stating:
“In Jepsen and others v Rakusen the Supreme Court decided that a rent repayment order could not be made under Chapter 4 of Part 2 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 against a superior landlord.”
“This new Clause, which is intended to be added to Part 3 of the Bill, will allow such orders to be made against superior landlords, will extend the period that can be taken into account when calculating payments due under such orders and will make provision about how payments are to be calculated and made in cases where there are multiple landlords or multiple orders.”
Housing Law | Wednesday 1 March 2023
Supreme Court gives important ruling on liability of 'superior landlords' for Rent Repayment Orders
Ed Fitzpatrick and Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Housing Team represented the Appellants, instructed pro bono by Simon Mullings of Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre.