News

First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber postpone all London hearings in response to COVID19

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus - stay home, protect the NHS, save lives

In response to the COVID19 crisis, the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber have issued new Directions that apply to all London cases with effect from 19 March 2020.

Regional Tribunal Judge Powell has postponed all listed hearing dates including mediation hearings until after 29 May 2020. The postponement applies to all London cases with the prefix ‘LON’.

In reaching this decision, the Judge has said the risk to health of parties attending hearings and of staff and judiciary in administering them is paramount and the interests of justice will not be impacted by the modest delays brought about by this decision.

We understand the staffing resources in the London office are severely depleted by the pandemic which impacts on their ability to maintain normal arrangements.

Parties are still being advised to comply with existing Directions where it is possible to do so.  Otherwise, Directions on all existing cases are suspended until after 29 May 2020 when fresh Directions will be issued. All parties should be sent a copy of these new Directions.

The Tribunal are still accepting urgent applications sent by email to London.Rap@Justice.gov.uk but only if the email is marked URGENT in the subject line. Where possible, the Tribunal have said they will try to deal with such applications remotely by email, telephone or video conferencing.

These arrangements will impact on a wide range of cases heard before the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber including:

  • Applications for Rent Repayment Orders
  • Applications for Banning Orders
  • Appeals against Improvement Notices and Prohibition Orders
  • Appeals against mandatory HMO, additional and selective licensing decisions
  • Appeals against civil financial penalties

Whilst existing applications and appeals are on hold, it is important that any new applications are lodged with the Tribunal within the statutory period, so the matter can be dealt with when normal service resumes. 

The First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber is split into five regions: Eastern, London, Midlands, Northern and Southern. At this time, we do not know if other regional offices will implement similar arrangements.

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