Appeal outside absolute time limit or not?

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  • #43561
    Mike Bailey
    Participant

    We have just received an appeal against a decision not to treat a claimant as living in exempt accommodation. The original decision was made in April 2011. Although the landlord is a housing association because the rent was so high we referred to rent officer and decision came back substantially lower than rent charged. No dispute was made against that April 2011 decision at the time. In April 2012, we made the annual rent officer referral and it came back the same as the previous year. We did issue a decision notice then, despite no change to entitlement. No dispute was received until now.

    My question is that as the appeal is stated to be against the decision not to treat as exempt and that particular decision was made more than 13 months ago, is the appeal outside the absolute time limit? Alternatively, is it a valid appeal (after extending the time for appealing) against the whole April 2012 decision even though it simply applied the annual rent officer decision without remaking/reconsidering the exempt accommodation part of the decision and the rent officer decision did not change?

    #123648
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    It is an appeal against the 2012 decision. The decision made then renews the appeal rights….I think you are right that the 2011 decision is now protected and cannot be appealled against. However each time a decision is made it refreshs the rights…but only from that date.

    Yes it is against all the April 2012 decision; simply because a Tribunal has the right and duty to consider all matters that are raised before it once a decision has been appealled against. Of course, if an issue is not raised then a Tribunal is not forced to consider it but it still has the right to do so. Permission to appeal late must be granted first of course although this will probably be automatic.

    #123646
    nick dearnley
    Participant

    Tricky one that. On the one hand you could say that the decision at issue can’t be indentified, so it’s nto duly made. You then have to give them 14 day s to rectify that (ie identify the decision). If it is against the Apr 11 decision then you can just submit to HMCTS as outside the absolute time limit; if it is soley against the Apr 12 decision you coudl argue that it is not appealable as that decision was one adopting an RO determination, whci is excluded from the appeal right.

    Either way I’d say there is no hope of it being heard as the original decision not to treat as exempt is too old and the only decision within 13 months isn’t appealable. You could argue both ‘in the alternative’ in a short submission asking it to be struck out I think.

    #123649
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Folowing Nick’s post, I agree that the RO figure is not appealable but there have been a number of appeals about whether the Council was correct in the referral. In other words, whether the Council was right that the rent was “unreasonably high” or indeed had such a power of referral in the first place. The fact that the RO has made a substantial reduction is (in my view) compelling evidence that the referral was justified but dont discount the complexity all this can generate.

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