10:32 AM, 21st July 2021, About 7 days ago 5
Yes, you read that correctly! We represented a Landlord at the First Tier Tribunal recently where a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) was being sought for 12 months rent due to no Additional Licence.
The hearing turned to Landlord and Tenant conduct, which is one of the few aspects to mitigate against a full rent repayment.
The applicant tenant raised a complaint against another tenant for not strictly abiding by Covid guidance – washing hands when returning to the house and to be fair, having friends around during Lockdown. Also, this Covid-offending co-tenant was not taking her turn at cleaning the flat. Surprise, surprise, bet nobody’s had that problem – much!
The criticism against the landlord was for not addressing the matter, other than verbally speaking to the ‘offending tenant’, unfortunately without any records to prove such. There was eventually one spitting incident, after provocation from the applicant tenant, that was reported to and dealt with by Police.
At the hearing, Justice For Tenants, who take a 30% ‘cut’ from the RRO awarded are obviously motivated to play as dirty as they can to achieve the maximum repayment. This extended to including swathes of Julie Rugg’s critique of the PRS some years ago, and also extract pages from Shelter similarly condemning the PRS. None of these ‘cut and paste’ criticisms was referenced to the landlord’s alleged conduct.
Justice For Tenants advanced that the landlord was not managing the property in failing to deal with the ‘ASB.’
I had to point out that the conduct of the offending tenant fell far short unfortunately from what would satisfy a Possession order, and that the Government had actually paralysed landlords from dealing with tenant misconduct before and especially since lockdown. Also, that any such effective method of eviction, albeit sometimes in the interests of sharing tenants, was totally absent from legislation.
Landlords of HMOs will know of the painfully slow experience of getting rid of one bad apple sometimes at the expense of losing a good tenant(s), as had actually occurred in this case.
It was at this point that Justice For Tenants had, what I thought was the audacity, to criticise the landlord for not serving a Section 21 notice on the co-tenant!
I had to comment to the Tribunal that we had heard one of Tenant support groups who actively campaign for the abolishment of Section 21, criticising a landlord for not using it!
It really is enough to ghast your flabber.
We have another Tribunal hearing next week on an Appeal against a Rent Increase that promises to be equally intriguing and will report further.
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