Tribunal rules in first case since landmark rent repayment decision

Landlord Sabour Mansour tried unsuccessfully to use the Rakusen vs Jepsen ruling to avoid rent repayment orders.

A landlord has failed in an attempt to use the landmark Rakusen vs Jepsen case as a defence against a rent repayment order (RRO).

In what is believed to be the first case where Rakusen vs Jepsen was used, the landlord was told by the property tribunal to repay rent to tenants.

The landlord, Sabour Mansour, claimed the rent was paid to property management company KJSZ and therefore he wasn’t liable for the RRO.

But the tribunal decided he was the immediate landlord and made orders of £1,308.62 and £4,756.60 plus £300 costs to two tenants of a flat in Horwood House, Pott Street, Bethnal Green, east London (main picture).

The two tenants made the claim for RROs as the flat was in an area covered by an HMO licensing scheme set by Tower Hamlets Council, but the landlord had not secured a licence.

Mansour said the tenancy agreements were not with him but with KJSZ, and he did not receive fees or rent from the tenants.

However, the tribunal did not accept that he was “the primary resident” of the property.

‘Poor conduct’

“Taking the evidence together it was clear to the tribunal that, regardless of who received the rent, the applicants’ immediate landlord was clearly the respondent Mr Mansour,” the tribunal says.

“Taking this poor conduct into account the tribunal concluded that it was necessary to increase the amount of the order to be made to 70% of the possible maximum rather than 60%.”

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by three tenants in the long-running Rakusen vs Jepsen case, which means the ‘superior landlord’ is not liable for a RRO.

It was seen as a case that could have far-reaching consequences for rent-to-rent firms who may now be liable for any RRO claims.

Read the judgement in full.

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