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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you find the information you are looking for we have organised our most frequently asked questions and the answers into subject headings.

Please select a link below:

  • Making an Application

    How do I make an application or appeal to the tribunal?

    To make an application or appeal you must complete and send the relevant application form to the Residential Property Tribunal Wales. Applications will only be accepted in hard copy by post or hand delivered. Application forms and guidance booklets can be downloaded from the website for the tribunal, or please contact the tribunal’s office if you would like us to send you an application form or guidance booklet.

    What if I have any additional needs?

    Please make sure that you give details of any additional needs when you send us your appeal application. For example, you should say if you need a signer or an interpreter at the hearing, or need any additional arrangements for the hearing.

    Can the tribunal recommend any representatives to assist me with my application?

    As a judicial body the tribunal cannot make recommendations about representatives or provide advice about applications. The useful resources pages of our website provides details of organisations that may be able to help.

    Is there a deadline for making an application?

    Our guidance booklets contain important information about applications, time-limits and the tribunal procedures.

    Do I have to pay a fee to make an application?

    There are fees involved in some, but not all, applications. It is important that you check the guidance booklet when making an application: Residential Property Tribunal and Leasehold Valuation Tribunal: Fees and Fees Waiver Guidance – Guidance Booklet LVT/RPT-G1

    Is my application fee refundable if my case is upheld?

    No. Once an application has been submitted to the tribunal and the process begins the application fee is not refundable.

    What happens if I wish to withdraw my application?

    As long as you are the applicant, you can withdraw your application at any stage. You should notify the tribunal in writing and copy your letter to all other parties involved in the application.

    What happens once the tribunal receives an application?

    A copy of the application and all documents received with the application will be sent to the party named as the respondent in the appeal application. The application will then be reviewed by a procedural chairperson. The procedural chairperson may decide to issue written directions to the parties or order a pre-trial review.

    Can I send an application or appeal to the tribunal by email?

    The tribunal does not accept applications or appeals by email or fax, hard copy forms must be submitted.

    Do I have to send original documents with the application or appeal?

    No. In the first instance please provide photocopies. If there is a hearing you may be asked to produce the originals.

    Who has a copy of the evidence submitted for an appeal or application?

    All parties to the appeal or application must have a copy of each others evidence. Evidence includes the appeal or application form as well as all correspondence, papers, documentation submitted to the tribunal by the person making the appeal and the respondent named in the appeal.

    The tribunal panel must also have a copy of all evidence received by the tribunal in respect of a case.

    How long does it take from when the tribunal receives an application to when it issues a decision?

    The timescale will vary depending on the type of case but the tribunal always endeavours to deal promptly with applications and to keep you informed of progress.

  • The tribunal’s powers

    What happens if the other party does not comply with the tribunals order?

    The tribunal has no power to enforce the order. Applications for reimbursement may instead be made to the County Court. You may wish to seek legal advice or advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

    Can the tribunal provide advice?

    The tribunal is an independent judicial body and must therefore remain impartial when dealing with disputes. The tribunal secretariat can provide information about tribunal procedures, the tribunal cannot though provide legal advice or guidance about how to present a case.

  • Inspections

    What is an inspection?

    The tribunal may need to visit the premises to consider its state and condition or any physical aspects which will help it in reaching a decision.

    What are the types of cases that require the tribunal to complete an inspection of the site?

    Almost all cases will require the tribunal to carry out an inspection.

    Can I say anything to the tribunal panel at the inspection in support of my application?

    Both parties can draw attention to any physical aspect of the property that they wish the tribunal panel to see. However parties may not make any representation during the inspection – representations can only be made at the hearing orally or in writing.

    Do I have the legal right to refuse the tribunal panel access to inspect my property?

    Yes.

    Do I have the right to refuse my landlord entry to my property when the tribunal panel inspects the property?

    Yes, but the tribunal panel may not consider it appropriate to inspect the property where one of the parties has been excluded.

    How much notice will the tribunal give before carrying out an inspection?

    You will be given adequate notice and will be given the opportunity to advise the tribunal if it is not convenient.

    How can I check that the people calling to carry out the inspection are from the tribunal?

    All the tribunal members have identification badges which they carry on inspection.

    How will I know the outcome of the inspection carried out by the tribunal panel?

    The outcome of the inspection will be recorded in the tribunal’s decision.

  • Hearings

    I have received written directions from the tribunal but I am unable to submit my papers by the deadline date, what do I do?

    You will need to make a written application to the tribunal stating your reasons for not being able to comply with the deadline date on the directions and to request an extension. Your request will be put before a tribunal chairperson who will decide whether an extension will be allowed.

    What is a pre-trial review?

    A pre-trial review (PTR) is a short preliminary hearing conducted by a tribunal chairperson with, occasionally, other members also sitting with them. The aim of a PTR is to establish the key issues within the application and to see if any of them can be resolved ahead of a full hearing. It is usually recommended that both parties attend. The tribunal does not usually make a final decision at the end of a PTR as it is not a full hearing of the application. The tribunal does not charge a fee for the PTR.

    I have a hearing scheduled very shortly and want to bring someone with me, is that allowed?

    Tribunal hearings are open to the public, this means that anyone can attend but they are not allowed to give evidence in the case unless you have formally notified the tribunal and a witness statement has been provided.

    I have a hearing scheduled and want to bring someone with me to speak on my behalf is that allowed?

    You need to write to the tribunal informing them of your intention and providing the name and address of the person who will be attending to speak on your behalf. The tribunal will inform the other parties of your intention. You must ensure that the tribunal receives your written notice within sufficient time before the hearing.

    Can I request a postponement of the hearing?

    The tribunal may in certain circumstances agree a postponement but the tribunal will need to be convinced that a postponement is justified. You will need to make a written application to the tribunal setting out your request for a postponement and the reasons why.

    What if I need more time before the hearing to submit new evidence?

    The tribunal may in certain circumstances agree a postponement of the hearing but the tribunal will need to be convinced that a postponement is justified. You will need to make a written application to the tribunal setting out your request for a postponement and the reasons why.

    When will you tell me about the date of the hearing?

    Normally the Tribunal will give 14/21 days minimum notice of a hearing date except in the case of an emergency application when a reason will be given why shorter notice should apply.

    Where will the hearing be held?

    The hearing will usually be held at the tribunal’s office in Cardiff or at another venue like a hotel that is within travelling distance from the premises under dispute.

    What time does a hearing usually start and how long will it last?

    This will vary depending on the type of case being heard. We will write to you before hand to ensure that you have plenty of notice about the date and time of the hearing.

    Do all parties have to attend the hearing?

    No, but if there is a hearing the parties are requested to attend to answer questions. The hearing is also an opportunity for parties to give oral evidence.

    Who else will be at the hearing?

    Hearings are open to the public so anyone can attend. However, it is usually the case that the only people at the hearing are the parties, their representative and witnesses if they have them, the tribunal panel and a clerk from the tribunal.

    What happens at the hearing?

    The tribunal will explain the procedure at the start of the hearing. Both parties will be given the opportunity to put their case to the tribunal and to ask questions. The tribunal members will also ask questions to help them reach a decision.

  • Decision

    What if there are administrative errors in my decision?

    Rent Assessment Committees and Leasehold Valuation Tribunals have the power to issue correction certificates to rectify any clerical or accidental error or omission in a decision. You will need to make a written application to the tribunal setting out your request. It is important that you contact the tribunal office to check whether there is a time-limit starting from when the decision is issued within which a written application must be made.

    Can I view past decisions?

    Yes. Decisions made by the tribunal are available to view at the tribunal’s office. Decisions made after April 2012 are also available to download from the tribunal’s website.

    How does the tribunal make its decision?

    The tribunal will make its decision by considering all the evidence. This includes the documents all parties send before the hearing and also what is said at the hearing. It also includes the findings from inspection completed by the tribunal panel.

    How long does it usually take the tribunal to issue its decision?

    The decision is made after the panel has considered all the evidence.In most cases this is approximately 6 weeks after the hearing but in more complex cases it will take longer.

  • Rent Assessment Committee

    How do I make an appeal or application to the tribunal about fair rent or market rent?

    Guidance booklets and application forms can be downloaded from the Rent Assessment Committees pages of this website.

    Where can I obtain the tenants application form under Section 13?

    Please either contact the tribunal office or download a copy of the application form from the tribunal’s website.

    What points should I make in my written representations?

    You should mention anything that you consider is relevant to the rent and which can be determined by the Rent Assessment Committee. All parties to an appeal or application can also comment on each others evidence.

    Will my personal circumstances be taken into account when determining the rent?

    For applications dealt with under the Rent Act 1977 (this includes an objection to the registered fair rent) personal circumstances such as the means of the landlord or tenant cannot be taken into consideration by the tribunal in reaching its decision.

    For applications received under the Housing Act 1988, where a landlord having served notice proposing a new rent increase, the tenant applies to the tribunal to determine the market rent, any increase in the rent will take effect from the date specified in the landlords notice. A tenant who considers that this would cause undue hardship may ask the tribunal to consider fixing a later date for the increase in its decisions.

    How does the Rent Assessment Committee reach its decision when deciding an application about Fair Rent?

    The Rent Act 1977, Section 70, requires a Rent Assessment Committee to have regard to the following factors when deciding what a fair rent for the property is: the age, character, locality and state of repair of the property and the quality and condition of any furniture provided under the tenancy.

    How does the Rent Assessment Committee reach its decision when deciding an application about Market Rent?

    Following a Section 13 application the tribunal will first decide whether it has jurisdiction. For example it may consider the validity of the landlord’s notice and whether the application has been received on time. If it decides that it does have jurisdiction the tribunal will then proceed, under Section 14, to decide what rent the landlord could reasonably expect to obtain in the open market if the property was let on a new tenancy on the same terms as the present tenancy. It is important to note the rent determined could be higher or lower, or the same as that proposed in the landlord’s notice.

    Is there a right of appeal against the tribunal’s decision?

    An appeal against the tribunal’s decision can be made to the Upper Tribunal. Appeals to the Upper Tribunal are limited to a point of law. Information about how to make an appeal has been provided on the appealing against a tribunal decision pages of this website. It is important that you check with the Upper Tribunal to find out information about the time-limit within which an application must be made.

  • Leasehold Valuation Tribunal

    How do I make an appeal or application about leasehold, leasehold service charges, leasehold enfranchisement or tenants association?

    Guidance booklets and application forms can be downloaded from the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal pages of this website.

    I am in dispute over my service charges what can I do?

    You may wish to make an application to the tribunal under Section 27 of the Landlord & Tenant Act. Guidance booklets and application forms can be downloaded from the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal pages of this website.

    I want to be included in a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal application that has already been made to the tribunal. How do I go about this?

    Applications to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal often affect others. If you wish to be included in an application – either as an applicant or respondent you should write to the case clerk, if possible , or to the tribunal generally stating the reasons why you wish to join. You should quote the address of the property in question and the case reference number. The tribunal will then consider the request as it has discretionary powers on who can join applications already being processed. Generally, the Tribunal will only permit to join those who will be directly affected by the outcome of the case.

    Do I have to pay a fee?

    There are fees involved in some, but not all, applications and these fees vary depending on the amount of money in dispute, or the number of dwellings to which the application relates. Additionally some types of application require payment of a hearing fee, if a hearing takes place.

    Sometimes an application will be transferred to the tribunal from the County Court. This will usually happen if the County Court is dealing with a case that includes issues which the tribunal can deal with and the judge decides to make an order transferring those issues to the Tribunal. The claimant in the County Court becomes the applicant to the Tribunal. Any fees payable will be adjusted to take account of any fees that have already been paid to the County Court.

    It is important that you check the Residential Property Tribunal and Leasehold Valuation Tribunal: Fees – Guidance Booklet LVT/RPT-G1 when making an application.

    Is there a right of appeal against the tribunal’s decision?

    An appeal against the tribunal’s decision can be made to the Upper Tribunal. Appeals to the Upper Tribunal are limited to a point of law. Permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal must first be sought from the Residential Property Tribunal Wales. Guidance booklets and application forms can be downloaded from the appealing against a tribunal decision pages of this website. The guidance booklets contain important information about the time-limit within which an application for permission to appeal must be received by the tribunal.

  • Residential Property Tribunals

    Is there a time-limit within which an application must be made?

    Most applications must be received by the tribunal within a specified time period. The period varies for each type of appeal. The tribunal’s guidance booklets and application forms contain important information about time-limits. If you have any questions about the time-limits you should contact the tribunal.

    What evidence do I need to submit to the tribunal.

    The tribunal’s guidance booklets and application forms provide information about what documents must be submitted with an application. The tribunal will write to acknowledge receipt of an application and to ask for any documents that have not been provided. The tribunal will give you a deadline for providing any further documentation needed for the application. Failure to provide the documentation within the deadline may result in the application being dismissed by the tribunal.

    Can I represent myself at a tribunal hearing?

    Yes. Tribunals were set up specifically to provide a less formal means of resolving disputes than is provided by the Courts and where parties can represent themselves. However you may wish to seek independent advice particularly if the application involves complex technical matters. In such circumstances it may be of some help to have an independent specialist support your case. Such a specialist may provide a report setting out the evidence supporting your case, and/or attend the hearing either with you or as your representative (without you being present).

    Will the tribunal want to visit the property?

    The Tribunal will decide on a case-by-case basis whether an inspection of the subject property is appropriate. The tribunal clerk will notify parties when an inspect ion is required and confirm when the tribunal intend to visit the property. The onus is usually on the applicant to ensure that access is provided for the tribunal. However, the tribunal has no powers of entry and anyone living in the property is entitled to bar entry to all or some of those present.

    How can I enforce the tribunal decision if the other party does not comply?

    The tribunal has no enforcement powers but its orders are enforceable in the same way as County Court orders. If a party does not comply with the decision of the tribunal, you may wish to seek independent legal advice. County Court proceedings may be initiated to enforce the decision.

    Is there a right of appeal against the tribunal’s decision?

    An appeal against the tribunal’s decision can be made to the Upper Tribunal. Appeals to the Upper Tribunal are limited to a point of law. Permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal must first be sought from the Residential Property Tribunal Wales. Guidance booklets and application forms can be downloaded from the appealing against a tribunal decision pages of this website. The guidance booklets contain important information about the time-limit within which an application for permission to appeal must be received by the tribunal.

  • Sending and receiving secure emails using Egress Switch

    The tribunal has introduced new software called Egress Switch, which helps us securely send emails and documents to non-secure email addresses. This is beneficial when emailing applicants, service users, solicitors firms and other agencies that are not on a secure network, ensuring the tribunal meets security and data protection requirements.

    Why is the tribunal using Egress Switch?

    Egress Switch allows tribunal staff to securely send confidential information to external email accounts (including Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail). The nature of the work the tribunal carries out means that we often deal with information that is sensitive, which we wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Measures such as secure postal services have been in place for some time now. However we are increasingly sending information by email, as this is quicker and more convenient for the people we work with. We’ve therefore introduced an easy to use piece of software that will help ensure that any information sent by email is secure.

    Is Egress Switch free to use?

    Yes. All recipients can view and securely reply to emails sent via Egress Switch from the tribunal for free.

    How do recipients view Egress encrypted emails?

    On their first use only, recipients will need to create an Egress account before they can sign in to view the email they’ve received. This is a short and simple process that involves inputting an email address and creating a password. . Once this is done, an activation code will be sent to that email address and recipients will then be able to sign in and read their email. A step-by-step guide for this process is available on the Egress Switch website.

    Can multiple people view the email once it is decrypted?

    In general, emails can only be viewed by the original recipient. However, ‘access settings’ can be amended to allow others read access. This is useful in the case of group mailboxes, or where a solicitor needs to grant read access to colleagues or assistants. Find out how to make these changes.

    Can Criminal Justice Secure eMail (CJSM) accounts still be used?

    Yes. It isn’t mandatory to use Egress Switch. However we would encourage you to reply via Egress because of the various issues experienced with the CJSM accounts (e.g. small mailbox sizes, licensing costs).

    Can Egress Switch be used on a mobile phone or tablet?

    Yes. Egress Switch has a mobile website to enable easy use on a mobile device. There is also an Egress Switch ‘app’ available for BlackBerry devices and iPhones/iPads, and will be available soon for Android devices.

    Can Egress Switch be used on Apple Macs?

    Yes. The Egress Switch client can be installed on Mac OSX 10.6 and above.

    Does Egress store any of my data?

    Egress does not handle or store any information that users share. The information is encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption and written to a secure package which can be transferred to the recipient using CD/DVD, USB stick, local file, FTP, HTTP, or an attachment to email. The only information Egress keeps relates to user management, package management and audit. Egress considers this information to be sensitive too, so they have designed their policy engine to use secure transactions, strong authentication, and a secure encrypted server database.

    Can Egress see my information?

    Egress cannot see your information. The Egress Client software encrypts and decrypts your information on your local machine; therefore Egress does not have access to it.

    Who can external recipients contact if they are having technical issues with Egress Switch?

    They should contact the Egress support team directly using the following methods:

    Email support@egress.com
    Telephone 0871 376 0014

    Further advice and guidance on using Egress Switch can be found on the Egress website.

    For further enquiries about Egress Switch and its use in the tribunal, please email our tribunal mailbox.

     

Related links

Information about the types of disputes we deal with and how to make an application can be found in our guidance booklets.
Information about the types of disputes we deal with and how to make an application can be found in our guidance booklets.
Information about the types of disputes we deal with and how to make an application can be found in our guidance booklets.