Rent Officer Handbook - Joint applications

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Application

Joint Applications for Registration of Rent

V2 2013

Rules for joint applications

The rules regarding joint applications to register a rent are different compared to applications from landlords or tenants alone. The relevant part of Schedule 11 to the Rent Act 1977 reads:

2 (1) Where the application is made jointly by the landlord and the tenant and it appears to the rent officer, after making such inquiry, if any, as he thinks fit and considering any information supplied to him … that the rent specified in the application is a fair rent, he may register that rent without further proceedings.
(2) Where the rent officer registers a rent under this paragraph he shall notify the landlord and tenant accordingly.

3 (1) In the case of an application which does not fall within paragraph 2 above, the rent officer shall serve on the landlord and on the tenant a notice inviting the person on whom the notice is served to state in writing, within a period of not less than seven days after the service of the notice, whether he wishes the rent officer to consider, in consultation with the landlord and the tenant, what rent ought to be registered for the dwelling-house.

It may be considered unlikely that the proposed rent will be equal to the rent officer’s determination of a fair rent under Section 70 of the Rent Act 1977 and subject to the Maximum Fair Rent Order 1999, but this will be established at the stage of provisional calculation of rent by the rent officer below.

The approach for rent officers to follow is;

● RR2’s are served to help establish the validity of the application and to allow the parties to make any representations regarding the requested rent.
● ROs must check cases allocated to them in order to identify joint applications at an early stage.
● The RO considers the proposed rent in the light of any representations and after gathering any required information. This may be by inspection of the property and/or serving an RR3 to obtain required information from the parties to the application.
● The RO should make a provisional calculation of registered rent under Section 70 and apply the MFR where appropriate.
● If the resulting determination is equal to the proposed rent, the rent officer proceeds directly to registration. The rent is registered at the requested amount and the case is closed. If this course of action is followed, the parties to the application may not object to the registered rent.
● However, due to the operation of the Maximum Fair Rent Order, it may be expected that in many cases the resulting determination will not be equal to the proposed rent so the RO should inform the parties that the proposed rent is not equivalent to a fair rent, and s/he should invite the parties to a consultation to discuss the rent to be registered.
● At the consultation the RO must explain that s/he is minded to register a rent other than that proposed, and must then listen to and record the representations of the parties.
● After the consultation the rent officer should consider the representations and make any adjustments necessary to their determination of rent under Section 70 and the MFR Order.
● The RO can then proceed to register the rent.

Consultation letters

A bespoke Notification of Consultation letter should be used in the case of a joint application as described above. It contains an additional paragraph, which reads;

I have looked at your application but I am considering registering a different rent to that which you have proposed. I am therefore inviting you to a consultation to discuss the rent that should be registered.

This draft letter may be found in the ‘forms and letters’ part of the guidance intranet pages, and must be used for joint applications, and a copy attached to the case.

Please note that the rent officer should not normally register the rent under a joint application without holding a consultation unless the calculation of rent under Section 70 and the MFR Order is the same as the proposed rent. If circumstances arise where a rent officer is considering registering a rent under a joint application without first holding a consultation, they should consult their line manager.

Related pages

● Application for registration of rent
● RR1 – essential information
● RR3 – further information
● Valuation – section 70
● Maximum Fair Rent
● Consultation pages

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