Rent Repayment Orders (RRO) and unlicensed properties

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What is a Rent Repayment Order?

A Rent Repayment Order occurs when a tribunal orders a landlord or agent to repay rent to tenant(s) because they have broken the law. This is usually between 6 months and 1 year of rent.

For example, if you paid £1000/month in rent, you could get a RRO for £6,000 - £12,000.

What can I get a Rent Repayment Order for?

Most commonly you are entitled to a RRO if:

  • Your landlord or letting agent has failed to get a valid property license
  • Your landlord or letting agent has a property license, but there are too many people living in the property
  • Your landlord or letting agent has obtained a property license now, but they should have got the license earlier
  • Your landlord has been prosecuted by the council
  • Your landlord has had a civil penalty issued against them by the council
  • The council has served an Improvement Notice on your landlord, and they haven’t carried out the repair works
  • You have been unlawfully evicted

What to do if you believe you are entitled to a Rent Repayment Order

Call one of our advisors on 020 3476 6648 to

  • Get advice
  • Ask any questions you might have
  • Have Justice For Tenants apply for an RRO to obtain compensation for you

Justice For Tenants is a not-for-profit tenant advice service.

What you should know about Rent Repayment Orders and unlicensed properties

If the council has told you that your property does not have a valid license or HMO license, you are entitled to compensation. To obtain compensation, you must apply for a Rent Repayment Order.

Rent Repayment Orders are not done through Court, they use a Tribunal. Tribunal are often used when there is a power imbalance, such as “Employer vs Member of staff” or “Tenant vs Landlord or Estate Agent”.

In a Tribunal, it is very rare for the winning side to get their legal fees paid for by the losing side. This allows tenants, or members of staff to take on their landlord or employer, without the fear of facing a legal bill at the end.

Once the RRO claim form has been submitted, along with certain bits of evidence and the cheque for payment (Justice For Tenants pays this on behalf of tenants), the Tribunal will send their “Directions” to the tenant and the landlord and/or letting agent. These directions include timeframes for certain bits of action to have occurred. For example, they might say that proof of rent payments will need to be sent to them in the next 7 days, then they will request proof that the tenants lived in the property 7 days after that, then they will ask for an evidence bundle to be submitted.

It can seem daunting to apply for a Rent Repayment Order; we have helped many tenants who have considered applying for a Rent Repayment Order and can talk you through the process answer any questions you may have, or apply for the Rent Repayment Order on your behalf.

Why am I entitled to compensation just because my rental property is not licensed?

If your landlord or letting agent has not obtained a license, it is likely they do not respect your rights as a tenant. It is very common for landlords or letting agents who manage unlicensed rental properties to be unprofessional to their tenants, or to be slow with carrying out repairs.

Generally, the tenants of these landlords and agents have a less than perfect renting experience. Compensation is due for these poor experiences that may have been suffered. A large Rent Repayment Order also means that landlords will get their property licensed, as it will save them money in the long-run. Once a property is licensed, it is easier for the council to check all repairs are being done and the property is being correctly managed and maintained to a high standard.

The more tenants who apply for Rent Repayment Orders (RROs), the more landlords will license their properties, and the less issues tenants will have when renting properties.