Rent Repayment Orders (RROs)

When starting university, finding accommodation is one of the biggest steps in your university plan. Some students may opt for private renting, rather than staying in university halls. This may be because of the homely feel private rental properties can have, or as part of a move-on plan when transitioning out of halls.

It’s important to be aware of your rights when renting in the private sector. Below is a short guide on Rent Repayment Orders. A rent repayment order is a legal order made by a tribunal or court requiring a landlord to pay back some or all of the rent they have received from a tenant. Below we explain the circumstances in which these orders might be granted and how you go about making an application.

1. When might a rent repayment order be made?

This can occur if the landlord or an agent has not followed the proper legal process or has breached their duties as a landlord.

If you have experienced any of the following, you could be entitled to a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) of up to 12 months’ rent back. As a private renting tenant, you have the right to file an RRO application directly, if your landlord has breached legal renting requirements.


Offences which might result in an RRO being issued include:

- Lack of/incorrect licensing: landlords or agencies must ensure their property is licensed, meaning that its been checked to ensure it is safe and suitable for occupants to live in. You can check if where you live is licensed by searching on your local council’s website under ‘license register’.

- Using violence or threatening violence to secure entry to the property

- Unlawful eviction or harassment of occupiers

- Failure to comply with an Improvement Notice (a notice to ensure landlords deal with hazards in the house).

- Failure to comply with a Prohibition Notice (a notice to stop use of part/all of a building due to it being hazardous/unsafe. Your landlord must comply with this notice and you may be moved by your local authority to a safer space).

- Breaching (disobeying) a banning order

Moreover, each case is different, so if you are unsure whether you have experienced any of these offences, come in and discuss your case with our advice team for further support.

The amount of rent that must be repaid is determined by the tribunal or court and may be based on the number of months for which the tenant paid during that time.

2. Some key points for thought before starting the application…

1. When to file an RRO? You must apply for an RRO within 12 months of the offence you allege.

2. Who to file an RRO against? Your immediate landlord e.g., may be the owner of the property rather than the person you usually deal with. We can help you establish who this is if you’re unsure.

3. Who can file an RRO? You can. You can be a home or international student. It also doesn’t matter if you paid your rent in cash or by bank transfer.

4. Benefits of making an RRO application: pushes the landlord to apply for a license. This forces your landlord to engage with the Local Authority (council) who will in turn ensure the house is licensed and complies with legal safety regulations. This helps to prevent the legal breaches from happening again.

5. Things to consider:

- You are not protected from eviction if you file an RRO e.g. If you share your property with a resident landlord and file an RRO, they are likely to evict you. As with all cases and appeals, you also need enough evidence to file an RRO.

- There is a fee for those wishing to apply for a RRO and another fee if the case goes to a tribunal. Successful applicants can recover their application fees.

3. The application process

The advice team can support you with filing a rent repayment order. Come to our drop-in to speak to an advisor or you can follow the guidance below.

The application: can be done online here

Form RRO1: Application by the tenant or local housing authority for a Rent Repayment Order (Housing and Planning Act 2016) - GOV.UK (

You will then be assigned a first-tier tribunal case officer who can support and advise you from here through the first-tier tribunal process.


What to expect in the application form?

1.To write a statement on the case (paragraph this)

2.All applicants should include a witness statement

3.Documents of evidence e.g., copy of contract, proof of rental payments,


Application Outcomes:

A.If the First-tier Tribunal grants you the rent repayment order, the landlord will be asked to pay the awarded amount by a certain date. This may be agreed to be paid in instalments. The amount can be up to 12 months’ rent.

B.If you lose your case, you can appeal if you think judgment was unfair/incorrect. Financially, appealing is costly: you will need to pay not only an application fee (currently £275) but also a Determination Fee when the judgment is issued (currently a further £275).