First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Begins Today

Today, 1 July 2013, the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) commences in England and replaces a number of tribunals all of which no longer exist:

  • Rent Assessment Committees
  • Rent Tribunals
  • Residential Property Tribunals
  • Leasehold Valuation Tribunals
  • Agricultural Land Tribunals.

There are new procedure rules that are now effective which are broadly based upon the rules that previously existed for the former tribunals and committees. Looking at the procedure rules there are a number of simplifications and improvements so there should be nothing to fear from the new rules. 

As a consequence, a number of forms and notices are amended by The Transfer of Tribunal Functions Order 2013.

These changes will mainly affect landlords and agents for our purposes in respect of provisions contained in the Housing Act 2004 and Houses in Multiple Occupation. 

All appeals (in England) against licensing and the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) will now be made to the new First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

View Related Handbook Page

Licensing of Private Rented Properties

The Housing Act 2004 introduced licensing of private rented premises. It is compulsory to license larger, higher-risk dwellings, but local authorities are also able to license other types of rented premises, including other lower-risk HMOs and individual houses and flats, if they can establish that other avenues for tackling problems in these properties have been exhausted.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Special requirements apply to types of properties known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) which place special responsibilities on landlords and agents.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System

The Housing Act 2004 places a statutory duty on local authorities to identify hazards and to assess risks to tenants’ health and safety. Local authorities are required to use a system called the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)