What is the RPTS? Residential Property Tribunal Service Sponsored by DCLG Part of the judiciary Independent expert tribunal 3 types of tribunal – RAC LVT RPT
How is it set up? 5 regional Panels Case Officer handles each application RPT consists of two or three members, usually a lawyer, a valuer and a lay/professional member.
Procedure Schedule 13 (Housing Act 2004) and The Residential Property Tribunal Procedure (England) Regulations 2006 49 new jurisdictions covering quality and use of housing stock and licensing of certain types of accommodation. Over-riding objective is to deal fairly and justly with applications
Initial Processing of Applications Check – jurisdiction time limits completeness Notify Respondent Directions issued
Powers of an RPT S.230(2) General power to give such directions as are necessary or desirable for securing the just, expeditious and economical disposal of the proceedings or any issue raised in connection with them.
Procedure to hearing Hearing details - 15 week target from date of application - usually 6-8 weeks in practice - oral hearing or paper determination Decision - drafted and agreed by RPT - issued within 2-4 weeks Urgent cases
Quality of Applications Completion of forms Other documentation Respondent’s replies
Directions Usually specify – - Dates for submission of statements and documents - Types of documents to be provided - Expert witness requirements - Preparation of bundle. Compliance is essential
The Inspection RPT may inspect the premises, any other premises which will assist and/or the locality. Subject to any necessary consent. Parties may usually be present. Evidence not usually heard at the inspection.
The Hearing (1) Appeals are “by way of re-hearing” Primary duty to assess suitability on day of hearing. RPT can take into account matters of which the housing authority was not aware. In public, unless RPT decides should be in private
The Hearing (2) Informal but structured Procedure decided by RPT Usually similar to civil court, eg evidence and cross examination with closing statements Parties may be represented by lawyer, surveyor or other advocate but often are not
The Hearing (3) Expert witness – prior written statement Documents – prior disclosure Postponement only in certain circumstances.
The Decision Must be in writing Sent to all parties May be given verbally in the first instance May reserve decision on costs
Costs Re-imbursement of fee - Regulation 6 of The Residential Property Tribunal (Fees)(England) Regulations 2006. Re-imbursement of costs in certain circumstances – Housing Act, Schedule 13, para.12 – maximum £500.
After the decision Decision cannot be revisited Right of appeal to Lands Tribunal Must seek leave to appeal from RPT If refused, can seek leave from LT Time limits Decisions are published on our web site and passed to LACORS.
Assistance Guidance booklet available IF IN DOUBT – ASK! We cannot give advice on the law or how to conduct your case but we are always willing to explain our procedures and process. On consumer satisfaction surveys, our staff consistently score highly on approachability and helpfulness. We welcome constructive feedback
24 Points for Practice Avoid appeals by : a)Good/thorough inspections(inc photos) b) Demonstrating that options have been considered and explaining reasons for the choices made.( full statement of reasons) c) Consistent with concordat and professional guidance.
25 Before the Hearing Comply with directions/time limits Checklist/tick boxes Prepare good bundle: -Scott-schedule - Pagination - Dividers
26 At the hearing - Stay calm – less formal than Court! -Make list of points you want to cover -Be familiar with bundle -Proceed through chronology/Scott Schd
27 Contact Regional Panels in London,Midlands, Northern, Southern and Eastern. www.RPTS.gov.uk Helpline -0845 600 3178
28 Emergency Actions Luton Borough Council –v- Universal Group HA/6/2007 Munir –v-LB of Wandsworth LON/OOBJ/HER2009/0002
29 POWERS OF ENTRY (1) Evans -v- London Borough of Camden LON/00AG/HIN/2007/0009 (2) John -v- Cardiff City Council RPT/HA04/HMO/1 (3) Weinberg -v- Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council RPT/HA04/S11/IMP7 (4) Williams -v- Monmouthshire County Council RPT/HA04/S11/IMP8 (5) Martin Thomas -v- Bristol County Council (6) St. John The Baptist College, Oxford -v- Vale of White Horse District Council (7) Cheltenham Construction Ltd. -v- Gloucester County Council (8) Angela Clayton -v- Torbay Council (9) Mosser-v-Cornwall Council CH1/15LB/HIN/2009/0009
30 Improvement Notices Weingreen Ltd. -v- Lichfield District Council BIR/41UD/HIN/2009/2005 McGarraghy -v- Rugby Borough Council BIR/44UD/HIN/2006/0003 Hanley -v- High Peak Borough Council BIR/1704/HIN/2009/0007 Law -v- London Borough of Islington LON/00AU/HIN/2007/0015
31 Prohibition Orders Hanley -v- Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council MAN/00BT/HIN/2009/0005 Healy -v- St. Albans City & District Council CAM/26UG/HPO/2006/0002