In order to qualify for a rent repayment order you must be able to establish that your landlord has breached a specified offence as set out in section 40 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. There are 7 specific offences:
1. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH IMPROVEMENT NOTICE: section 30(1) Housing Act 2004
If your landlord has failed to comply with a local authority improvement notice in accordance to a hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), as governed by the Housing Act 2004, then you may have a potential rent repayment order against your landlord.
Compliance with an improvement notice means, in relation to each hazard, beginning and completing any remedial action specified in the notice within the terms of the notice.
2. VIOLENCE FOR SECURING ENTRY: Breach of section 6(1) Criminal Law Act 1977
Any person who, without lawful authority, uses or threatens violence for the purpose of securing entry into any premises for himself or for any other person is guilty of an offence, provided that there is someone present on those premises at the time who is opposed to the entry which the violence is intended to secure; and the person using or threatening the violence knows that that is the case.
This will not apply to a person who is a displaced residential occupier or a protected intending occupier of the premises in question or who is acting on behalf of such an occupier; and if the accused adduces sufficient evidence that he was, or was acting on behalf of, such an occupier he shall be presumed to be, or to be acting on behalf of, such an occupier unless the contrary is proved by the prosecution.
The fact that a person has any interest in or right to possession or occupation of any premises shall not for the purposes of subsection (1) above constitute lawful authority for the use or threat of violence by him or anyone else for the purpose of securing his entry into those premises. It is immaterial for the purposes of this section whether the violence in question is directed against the person or against property; and whether the entry which the violence is intended to secure is for the purpose of acquiring possession of the premises in question or for any other purpose.
3. UNLAWFUL EVICTION OR HARASSMENT OF OCCUPIERS: section 1(2)(3) or (3A) Protection from Eviction Act 1977)
A “residential occupier” means a person occupying the premises as a residence, whether under a contract or by virtue of any enactment or rule of law giving him the right to remain in occupation or restricting the right of any other person to recover possession of the premises.
It is a breach of the law if any person unlawfully deprives the residential occupier of any premises of his occupation of the premises or any part thereof, or attempts to do so, and he shall be guilty of an offence unless he proves that he believed, and had reasonable cause to believe, that the residential occupier had ceased to reside in the premises.
Any person will be guilty of an offence if he has the intent to cause the residential occupier of any premises –
- to give up the occupation of the premises or any part thereof; or
- to refrain from exercising any right or pursuing any remedy in respect of the premises or part thereof; or does acts [likely] to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or members of his household, or persistently withdraws or withholds services reasonably required for the occupation of the premises as a residence, he shall be guilty of an offence.
While the landlord of a residential occupier or an agent of the landlord shall be guilty of an offence if –
- he does acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or members of his household, or
- he persistently withdraws or withholds services reasonably required for the occupation of the premises in question as a residence,
and (in either case) knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that that his conduct is likely to cause the residential occupier to give up the occupation of the whole or part of the premises or to refrain from exercising any right or pursuing any remedy in respect of the whole or part of the premises.
A person shall not be guilty of an offence under if he proves that he had reasonable grounds for doing the acts or withdrawing or withholding the services in question.
4. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH PROHIBITION ORDER: section 32(1) Housing Act 2004
Prohibition Orders are formal notices saying that a property or part of a property cannot be occupied. This is because the conditions in the building are so dangerous that there is a serious safety risk for people living in the house or flat. Your landlord must carry out repairs to make it safe, before the house or flat (or the specified rooms) can be used once more. Prohibition Orders may be served by either an Environmental Health Officer (for the Council), or by the Fire Officer. You will be asked to leave the building or not to use part of it.
A person commits an offence if, knowing that a prohibition order has become operative in relation to any specified premises, he uses the premises in contravention of the order, or permits the premises to be so used.
5. CONTROL OR MANAGEMENT OF UNLICENSED HOUSE IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION (HMO): section 72(1) Housing Act 2004
Your landlord must get a licence from the local housing authority if your home is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) where
- Both of the following apply:
- at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
- you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants
- Your home is a large HMO if all of the following apply:
- it’s at least 3 storeys high
- at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
- you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants
A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are married or living together including people in same-sex relationships; or relatives or half-relatives, for example grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings step-parents and step-children.
6. CONTROL OR MANAGEMENT OF UNLICENSED HOUSE: Selective Licensing of houses
Section 95(1) Housing Act 2004 confirms that a person commits an offence if he is a person having control of or managing a house which is required to be licensed by that local housing authority and that house is not licensed. Local housing authorities will require licensing of all houses in a designated area unless otherwise exclude or exempt.
7. BREACH OF BANNING ORDER: section 21 Housing and Planning Act 2016)
A ‘banning order’ is an order made by the First-tier Tribunal when a person has been convicted of a banning order offence and the person is banned from letting housing, engaging in letting agency work or property management work or doing two or more of these things in England.
Banning order offences cover a range of circumstances, including the typical housing related offences comprised in the 1977 and 2004 Acts but also a broad range of “serious criminal offences” if committed by landlords or agents at their properties.
THE SIZE OF A RENT REPAYMENT ORDER IS CALCULATED IN ACCORDANCE TO THE OFFENCE COMMITTED AND THE RENT PAID BY THE TENANT FOR A SPECIFIED AMOUNT OF TIME FROM WHEN THE OFFENCE WAS COMMITTED.