Jurisdiction to make Rent Repayment Orders

Kazowska and others -v- White confirms that there is no jurisdiction to make a rent repayment order against the director of a landlord company.  

The Upper Tribunal has confirmed that that there is no jurisdiction to make a rent repayment order under Chapter 4 of Part 2 of the Housing an Planning Act 2016 (‘HPA 2016’) against a the director of a landlord company that has committed an offence listed in section 40 (3) HPA 2016.

The appellants had sought to argue that an RRO could be made against the director of a corporate landlord by virtue of section 251 of the Housing Act 2004, which provides that where an offence under the Housing Act 2004 committed by a company is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance or, or to be attributable to the neglect of a director of senior officer of the company, that person is also guilty of the offence. Deputy Chamber President Martin Rodger QC held that the language of the HPA 2016 was clear that an RRO can only made against a landlord and confirmed, following Rakusen v Jepsen  [2021] EWCA Civ 1150, that policy arguments could not be used to confer an interpretation that was inconsistent with the language of the legislation.  Laura Phillips represented the successful respondent.

A link to the judgment is here.