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Rent Repayment Orders

A Rent Repayment Order (RRO) may be sought by a tenant or the council to recover rent or Housing Benefit that has been paid, if specific offences have been committed. For example, a tenant of the private rented property is within their rights to apply for a RRO if the property they are living in should be licenced, but isn't. The maximum amount that can be claimed is 12 months rent that has been paid.

Offences that allow for a RRO application are:

  • Using violence to secure entry, contrary to section 6(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977
  • Unlawful eviction or harassment of occupiers, contrary to sections 1(2), 1(3) or 1(3A) of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977
  • Failure to comply with an improvement notice issued under the Housing Act 2004 (section 30(1))
  • Failure to comply with a prohibition order issued under the Housing Act 2004 (section 32(1))
  • Operating a house in multiple occupation (HMO) or other house (if the property requires a licence) without a licence (sections 72(1) and 95(1) of the Housing Act 2004)
  • Breaching a banning order issued under section 21 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

Tenant applications

A tenant may apply for an RRO where the offence relates to housing that was let to the tenant at the time of the offence. Also, the offence must have been committed within the 12 months leading up to the day of the RRO application.

A Local Housing Authority (LHA) can assist a tenant in applying for an RRO. This can include giving advice and/or conducting proceedings.

You are advised to contact a solicitor (or a tenancy advocate) if you are thinking of taking out a RRO as there are certain aspects of the law you may need to consider. For example:

  • A section 21 cannot be served if your property is not licenced (this could protect your tenancy).
  • A RRO can be issued after you have left the property.
  • A RRO can be made for each tenancy contract undertaken on the property (for example, if you have signed a new tenancy).
  • If a property is a House in Multiple Occupation, even a small HMO less than 5 people, all must pursue a claim or get a waiver from those who do not wish to claim.

Local Housing Authority applications

If the LHA becomes aware that a landlord has been convicted of one of the offences listed above, the LHA must consider applying for an RRO. Where one of the offences has been committed and there is no conviction, the LHA may consider applying for an RRO. When applying for an RRO, LHAs should have regard to the statutory guidance issued by government as well as their own enforcement policy.

Applying for a Rent Repayment Order

If you think you may be entitled to apply for a Rent Repayment Order, contact Justice For Tenants via email or their online contact form.