Another First Tier Property Tribunal has confirmed that a superior landlord cannot be held responsible for a Rent Repayment Order (RRO), following the landmark Rakusen case.
Tenant Riaz Moola had tried to argue that landlord Khalil M’barek was responsible for the property in the upmarket Belvedere Row Apartments in White City, London, from February to November 2022, and applied for a £31,635 RRO.
He argued that he had initially taken the property on a trial basis, paying £3,600 a month – and once he had decided to stay in the property, he had entered into a personal agreement with M’barek.
Landmark case However, the tribunal referred to the Supreme Court case which ruled that these orders can only be made against an immediate landlord and threw out the claim.
It found that the parties did not both sign an agreement in the same form; M’barek signed one that identified the tenant as CoGrammar Ltd, while Moola signed one that identified himself as the tenant.
It said: “The tribunal prefers and accepts the evidence of Mr M’barek that for the period from 23rd March, his tenant was CoGrammar Ltd. As the tribunal has found that Mr M’barek was not Mr Moola’s immediate landlord, either before or after 23rd March, no RRO can be made in Mr Moola’s favour against Mr M’barek.”
Earlier this month, in the first case to cite Rakusen, landlord Sabour Mansour tried – and failed – to claim that he was the superior landlord of an unlicensed HMO and was found to be responsible for the property in Pott Street, Tower Hamlets. His two tenants were awarded more than £6,000.
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