A Rent Repayment Order (RRO) entitles tenants to a maximum of 12 months rent repayment if their landlord has committed an offence whilst they are renting the property. For example:
your landlord has rented out a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence
your landlord has failed to control or manage an unlicensed HMO
your landlord has failed to comply with enforcement action (eg an improvement notice, prohibition notice, civil penalty or breach of a banning order - for more information, see ‘What are enforcement actions?’ below)
you have been evicted illegally or been harassed by your landlord
your landlord has used violence to secure entry to the property
What are enforcement actions?
Enforcement actions are given by local authorities where they identify a hazard on inspection of a property. Enforcement actions include:
Improvement notices - these are orders for the landlord to carry out specified remedial action on the property to reduce hazards to the occupants (eg house fire or collapse).
Prohibition notices - these are orders to prevent or limit the occupation of a hazardous property.
Failure to comply with these notices can result in a civil penalty order, which is a fine of up to £30,000 and potentially a banning order, prohibiting the landlord from renting out the property altogether.
Can a tenant claim back housing benefit / universal credit through an RRO?
A tenant who receives housing benefit or universal credit cannot claim this money back through an RRO - this will be claimed by their local authority.