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Deciding whether to challenge a rent

This content applies to England

Advice on deciding whether to challenge a rent at the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

It may not always be in the tenant's best interests to apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). The Tribunal must determine a market rent, which could be higher or lower than that which the landlord has requested. It is therefore important that, before making an application, the adviser or the tenant should find out what the Tribunal considers to be a market rent in the area.

One of the easiest ways of doing this is to consult the Tribunal's records to find 'comparable' properties in the area. The Tribunal must make available information concerning its decisions and regarding other rents determined in the area.[1] Factors such as the state of repair of the property, the facilities included in the rent, whether or not it is furnished and whether it is an assured or assured shorthold tenancy will be relevant to whether the properties are directly comparable. It may also be useful to look in local newspapers and estate agents to gauge what rents are being charged.

Information gathered before applying will also be useful as evidence to produce to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), eg advertisements from local newspapers.

[1] s.42 Housing Act 1988.

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