First RRO for an illegal eviction?

This application (Coxswain v James CHI/00HB/HMB/2020/0006) seemed to throw the book at the Respondent:

  • Licensing
  • Illegal Eviction
  • Harassment
  • Failure to comply with Improvement Notice
  • Not supplying a Gas Safety Certificate (GSC)
  • Not protecting a deposit…

And after 2 Case Management Conferences (CMCs), an extended hearing, 34 pages of very careful and deliberate consideration in the judgment… a beautiful new baby was born: the first Rent Repayment Order (RRO) for an illegal eviction. £1,560. At least we haven’t seen any others.

Actually, there were twins: the judgment gives a perfectly logical explanation of why rent arrears should not be taken into consideration in making a RRO award. Exactly as we have argued in a case we are currently seeking to appeal at the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) (UT). As Judge Dobson rightly argues in this case: to reduce a RRO award for rent arrears doubly penalises a tenant:

The deliberations in the judgment are a masterpiece in how Tribunals should be assessing these cases, taking into consideration the recent decisions of the UT in Vadamalayan (see our discussion here) and Chan as well as the intended purposes of the Act when first considered in Parliament.

Now, say you had an illegal eviction, harassment and a licensing offence made out: would that be one RRO or three? Watch this space…