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The Residential Property Tribunal Wales (RPTW) incorporates three types of tribunals, each with its own functions and remit:
- the rent assessment committees,
- the leasehold valuation tribunal and
- the residential property tribunal.
The Welsh Government is responsible for the funding and administration of RPTW but its members and decisions are independent of government. Lawyer members of RPTW are appointed by the Lord Chancellor. Professional and lay members are appointed by the Welsh Ministers.
The legislative background to RPTW, and how its functions are conferred is complex. In general, legislative functions are conferred on a rent assessment committee, a leasehold valuation tribunal or a residential property tribunal according to the subject matter. However, even where functions are conferred on a leasehold valuation tribunal or a residential property tribunal these functions are to be exercised by a rent assessment committee. Each committee and tribunal has its own jurisdiction, relevant legislation, rights of appeal to the Upper Tribunal and procedural rules. The relevant legislation for each is set out below.
Rent assessment committees
Rent assessment committees deal with disputes about fair rent and market rent. The jurisdiction of a rent assessment committee is conferred by the following Acts:
- The Rent Act 1977 (RA 1977),
- The Housing Act 1988, and
- The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (this is not an exhaustive list).
Rent assessment committees are established under section 65 of, and Schedule 10 to, RA 1977.
Section 65A of RA 1977 provides that an appeal on any point of law from a decision of a rent assessment committee constituted under Schedule 10 to that Act may be made to the Upper Tribunal. This does not apply where the rent assessment committee is exercising the functions of a leasehold valuation tribunal or a residential property tribunal.
The Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) Regulations 1971 provide, amongst other things, for the procedures to be followed.
Leasehold valuation tribunals
Leasehold valuation tribunals deal with leasehold disputes, leasehold service charges, leasehold enfranchisement and lease extension for houses and flats, and tenants’ association applications for recognition. The jurisdiction of leasehold valuation tribunals is conferred by the following Acts:
- The Leasehold Reform Act 1967,
- The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993,
- The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 (CLRA 2002),
- The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987,
- The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and
- The Housing Act 1996 (though this is not an exhaustive list).
Leasehold valuation tribunals are established under section 173 of CLRA 2002 which provides that jurisdiction conferred on a leasehold valuation tribunal is exercisable by a rent assessment committee constituted in accordance with Schedule 10 to RA 1977. When so constituted a rent assessment committee is known as a leasehold valuation tribunal.
Section 175 of CLRA 2002 provides for appeals from the leasehold valuation tribunal to be made to the Upper Tribunal, in certain circumstances.
Section 174 of, and Schedule 12 to, CLRA 2002 are relevant to the procedures of the leasehold valuation tribunal, as are the Leasehold Valuation Tribunals (Procedure) (Wales) Regulations 2004.
Residential property tribunals
Residential property tribunals deal with empty dwelling management orders, interim and final management orders, licensing of houses in multiple occupation and selective licensing of other residential property, housing, the health and safety rating system, park homes, and local authority gypsy and traveller sites. The jurisdiction of residential property tribunals is conferred by the following Acts:
- The Housing Act 1985,
- The Housing Act 2004 and
- The Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 (though this is not an exhaustive list).
Residential property tribunals are established under section 229 of the Housing Act 2004 which provides that jurisdiction conferred on a residential property tribunal is exercisable by a rent assessment committee constituted under Schedule 10 to RA 1977. When so constituted a rent assessment committee is known as a residential property tribunal.
Section 231 of the Housing Act 2004 provides for appeals from the residential property tribunal to be made to the Upper Tribunal, in certain circumstances.
Section 230 of, and Schedule 13 to, the Housing Act 2004 relate to the powers and procedures of the residential property tribunal, as do the Residential Property Tribunal Procedures and Fees (Wales) Regulations 2012.
Since the implementation of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, residential property tribunals have the functions of being able to hear appeals against the decisions of a licensing authority under Part 1 of the 2014 Act in connection with the registration and licensing of landlords and agents, as well as the function of issuing rent stopping orders and rent repayment orders under that Part.