Rent relief orders

The First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber have the power to issue a rent relief order.

This content applies to Scotland

About the rent relief order

If the First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber determines that the landlord has failed to comply with a repairing standard enforcement order, it will be able to issue a rent relief order reducing the amount of rent payable under the tenancy. [1]

A rent relief order does not affect the validity of the terms of the tenancy other than the amount of rent payable.[2] The rent will not be able to be reduced by more than 90 per cent.[3]

A rent relief order will have effect from 28 days after the last date that the decision to issue an rent relief order can be appealed, or if there was an appeal, 28 days after it was abandoned or determined.[4] A decision to issue a rent relief order will have to be appealed within 30 days of being notified. The appeal can only be made on a point of law.[5] The appeal will not be able to raise a matter that could have been raised at a previous stage of appeal against the tribunal.[6]

The order will have to be revoked if the repairing standard enforcement order is revoked, or a completion certificate is issued in relation to the work that was required by the repairing standard enforcement order. [7]

A decision to revoke a rent relief order can also be appealed within 30 days of being notified. The appeal can only be made on a point of law. [8]

When the rent relief order is revoked, the tenant will not be required to backdate the payment of rent that was not paid during the effect of the rent relief order.[9]

Issues for housing benefit claimants

If a client is in receipt of housing benefit they are responsible for advising the housing benefit office and their eligible rent will be reduced accordingly. Advisers should make clients aware that where a claimant is only receiving partial housing benefit this could reduce entitlement to nil and as such the claim would be ended. When rent liability returns to normal this could mean a new claim triggers a change to universal credit leaving them worse off. See the pages on universal credit for more information on this.

Advisers faced with this situation may ask the local authority to suspend payment of housing benefit rather than end the claim, however this has not been tested.

Last updated: 10 February 2020

Footnotes

  • [1]

    s26(2)(b) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [2]

    s.27(3) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [3]

    s.27(1) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [4]

    s.63(4) and s.63(5) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [5]

    s.64(4)(d) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [6]

    s.66(1)(3) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [7]

    s.27(4) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [8]

    s.64(4)(e) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [9]

    s.27(5) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006