Rent review: Whether the First-tier Tribunal was right to consider comparable evidence in rent review application

Where a landlord makes an application for rent review in the First-tier Tribunal, what evidence should the court rely on in reaching its determination?

Rent review:  Whether the First-tier Tribunal was right to consider comparable evidence in rent review application

The background

In Podkrolewicz v R & S Properties [2019], the landlord made an application to the First-tier Tribunal for a rent review, providing evidence comprising rents of comparable properties. The evidence had not been presented to the Tribunal beforehand and the tenant had not therefore had opportunity to review and present a counter-argument.

In any event, the FTT proceeded to consider the comparable evidence and confirmed the rent payable by the tenant, who appealed to the Upper Tribunal.

 

The decision

The Upper Tribunal allowed the tenant’s appeal against the rent review. The evidence had not been presented before the hearing, and the tenant had not had adequate opportunity to consider the evidence or make comment.

It was held that the FTT should either have excluded the evidence when making its decision or it should otherwise have adjourned the hearing.

 

Advice and action for landlords

Although specifically relevant to rent review in this case, Podkrolewicz is a reminder that evidence a party wishes to rely on during a hearing of an application to the FTT must be presented beforehand, giving the other party adequate opportunity to review and comment on it.

FTT applications should not proceed where new evidence is admitted at the hearing.

The Upper Tribunal allowed the tenant’s appeal against the rent review. The evidence had not been presented before the hearing, and the tenant had not had adequate opportunity to consider the evidence or make comment.

 

Author

Katie Edwards
Katie Edwards
Associate

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