Authorities to resolve tenant’s disputes

According English Housing survey commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in 2015-2016 about 4,5 million households are rented out which consist about 20% of all households in Britain. Based on earliest surveys the proportion of different disputes between landlord and tenants have further breakdown:

  • 17,5% of all disputes were related to the rent arrears and tenant’s failure payments
  • 11% of issues accounted for damages made by tenants
  • 7% of all cases accounted for tenant’s anti-social behavior
  • 7-8% issues related with deposits disputes such as deduction of deposit and its withholding

compliant on landlord

There are a lot of authorities that may assist with settling issue or help to find solution without going to court and incurring expensive methods or other actions undesirable for all parties.

 Many landlords are members of a landlord association or trade body that could provide assistance in resolving dispute with their members:

Rent increase disputes

Rent Assessment Committee which is part of Residential Property Tribunal Service may be asked by the tenants to review the unfair rent increase.

Valuation Office Agency(VOA) carries out a rent evaluation service. Landlord may request to assess rent value of property or request re-assessment if significant property changes or improvement was made. Landlord may not set up a rent payment higher than VOA had assessed.

Residential Property Tribunal(First-Tier Tribunal) supports the further cases:

  • landlord may appeal the rate if he or she is not agree with VOA rate and appealing didn’t change it
  • tenants who have a AST tenancy contract may argue the payable rent and request to decrease it. If Tribunal considers the rent to be significantly higher then market rent will be determined.
  • dispute in respect of new terms of statutory periodic tenancy when notice under section 6 was made by landlord.

If landlord or tenant is not satisfied with Housing Tribunal decision then it may be appealed in Upper Tribunal - Lands Chamber.

There are three government bodies have a function of Property Tribunal and carry out rent assessment in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

Dispute with fair terms of contracts

Local Trading Standard Office may review the term and tenancy agreement if tenant has a doubt in fairness of some o terms.

Dispute with lettings or estate agents

According to the new legislation introduced 1st October 2015 all letting agents and property managers in England must be registered in one of the government approved redress schemes.

Three are 3 government approved redress schemes:

TPO or The property Ombudsman scheme is government-approved redress scheme that have unique Code of Practice approved by the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) and covering England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.  More than 85% of estate agents registered in TPO. TPO can offer free, fair and impartial redress to the tenants who have been unable to resolve a dispute with their estate or letting agent. The property Ombudsman is alternative to the small claim court.

Shelter is another independent redress dispute resolution scheme that assists to the resolving disputes between letting agents and tenants

Useful links: