Local Authorities

Justice For Tenants offers free training and consultation to local authorities on effective use of the powers granted within the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

This is shaped around the service’s needs but can cover any of the following:

Rent Repayment Order and Civil Financial penalty training

  • A breakdown of Rent Repayment Orders and Civil Financial Penalties and when they may be appropriate to use
  • Analysis of the requirements to be successful
  • Worked examples of appropriate submissions
  • How to argue the cases in a hearing
  • Common reasons for failure and how to prevent them
  • Q & A sessions to allow team members to ask any question they have

Recovering funds on behalf of the housing enforcement team

JFT has arrangements with many local authorities to provide an RRO service to help increase enforcement action, assist tenants and create a source of revenue for the housing enforcement team. It operates as follows:

  • Tenants entitled to Rent Repayment Orders are referred to JFT for advice and/or representation, ensuring compliance with Section 49 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • JFT applies for housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit on behalf of the local authority’s housing enforcement team at the same time as recovering the privately paid rent for the tenants
  • This creates a risk-free way to increase enforcement and revenue, without requiring any local authority staff time
  • JFT provides a list of all properties for which RROs are in progress each month
  • Any member of the housing or licensing team can request a criminal standard of evidence of the breach – this could be in the form of our evidence bundle or a Tribunal decision of fact that the breach has occurred
  • The local authority never pays any money to JFT, there is a one-way flow of funds into the local authority
  • Increased enforcement reduces the burden on the local authority housing enforcement team and improves standards in the private rented sector
  • JFT can provide copy to the comms team to ensure publication of results, which can help justify renewals and extensions of discretionary licensing schemes
March 2022 – Special Note
Justice For Tenants has been tasked with overseeing the creation of a Local Authority Tribunal Enforcement Toolkit & Hub. This will include templates, example submissions, and details on the best way to approach proceedings, as well as information on relevant case precedents to use in the face of common arguments by the other party. If you wish to participate in this or have more information, please get in touch.

 

Please contact Al Mcclenahan amcclenahan@justicefortenants.org  to discuss how JFT can help you and your team.

 

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