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Appendix 2

Rent assessment committees

Rent assessment committees are made up of two or three people -
usually a lawyer, a property valuer and a lay person. They are drawn from
rent assessment panels - bodies of people with appropriate expertise
appointed by Government Ministers.

There are six rent assessment panels in England and Wales. The
committees are independent of both central and local government.

Rent assessment panels have the following functions for private lettings:

• tenants of assured short-hold tenancies can refer their rent for
review during the first six months of their original tenancy, if
they consider the rent is above a market rent;

• tenants of assured/assured short-hold tenancies can refer
a rent for review where the landlord has sought to increase
it under the notice procedure under s13 of the Housing Act
1988;

• tenants of assured/assured short-hold tenancies can refer
for review a landlords notice of a change in the tenancy
agreement terms under section 6 of the Housing Act 1988
(this is very rare and therefore will not be discussed further);

• either landlords or tenants can refer a rent officer’s decision
on a ‘fair rent’ under the Rent Act 1977 if they disagree with it.

There is no appeal against a committee’s decision except on a point of law.

The committee may make a decision by considering the relevant papers
although you or the tenant can ask for an informal hearing, which you may
both attend. There is no charge for a committee decision. When settling
disputes on rent, the committee normally decides what rent you could
reasonably expect for the property if you were letting it on the open
market under a new tenancy on the same terms.

It does not take into account any increase in the value of the property due
to voluntary improvements by the tenant or any reduction in the value of
the property caused by the tenant not looking after the property.

The committee may agree the proposed rent or set a higher or lower rent.

More information on the work of the Rent Assessment Committees can be
found from the Residential Property Tribunal Services web-site at www.
rpts.gov.uk.

Agents professional bodies websites

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
www.rics.org

The National Approved Letting Scheme
www.nalscheme.co.uk

The National Association of Estate Agents
www.naea.co.uk

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks
www.aiic.uk.com

Law Pack Publishing
Low cost forms for landlords.
www.lawpack.co.uk

The Leasehold Advisory Service
For landlords of flats on long leases who may have
problems with their freeholder.
www.lease-advice.org

Gas Safe Register
www.gassaferegister.co.uk

Electrical Safety Council
www.esc.org.uk

Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes
www.eeph.org.uk

Equality and Human Rights Commission
Providing advice and guidance to promote equality and
human rights.
www.equalityhumanrights.com

Consumer Focus
www.consumerfocus.org.uk

Energy Performance Certificate and Home Condition
Report Registers
Search for Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs).
www.hcrregister.com

Electrical Safety Council (ESC)
An independent charity committed to reducing deaths
and injuries through electrical accidents.
www.esc.org.uk

Unipol Student Homes
A charity, established to help students find the best
housing they can, to drive up standards and to be a
beacon of good practice for other housing suppliers.
www.unipol.org.uk

The Accreditation Network UK (ANUK)
The national body that publicises, promotes and shares
good practice in accreditation.
www.anuk.org.uk

Universities UK (UUK)
Administer one Government approved national scheme
for buildings controlled and managed by educational
establishments.
www.universitiesuk.ac.uk

Deposit Protection Services

Deposit Protection Service
t: 0844 4727 000
www.depositprotection.com

The Dispute Service
t:0845 226 7837
www.thedisputeservice.co.uk

My Deposits
t: 0844 980 0290
www.mydeposits.co.uk