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Published On: March 1, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

Supreme Court Judgment on Rent Repayment Order Case

The Supreme Court has given judgment in Rakusen v Jepsen on the issue of whether a rent repayment order can be made against a superior landlord or only the tenant’s immediate landlord under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

The Supreme Court held that the correct interpretation of the 2016 Act meant that a tenant could only obtain a rent repayment order against their immediate landlord, and not against a superior landlord or the owner of the property if they were not the immediate landlord.

While the Supreme Court judgment clarifies that rent repayment orders can only be sought against a tenant’s immediate landlord, the Court acknowledges that this makes rent repayment orders less effective against rogue landlords, in particular where there is a ‘rent to rent’ landlord, a company or individual who has taken a tenancy from the property owner and sub let to occupiers.

This growing sector often sees poor behaviour from the rent to rent landlord, including failing to obtain a licence, illegal evictions and harassment. As an intervention by Safer Renting set out, such arrangements are also used to obscure criminal activity and liability.

When faced with a rent repayment order application, ‘rent to rent’ set ups often disappear, or go into liquidation, avoiding payment of an RRO and leaving the superior landlord to deal with the sub tenants. The Supreme Court notes this, but finds that this is a matter for Parliament to address in legislation.

Giles Peaker of Anthony Gold acted for Safer Renting on the intervention.


* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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