In order to appeal an IA determined rental, a form must be completed and submitted to the PCA along with the £200 referral fee. The other party must be copied into any such referral.
Assuming the referral is lodged within the given timeframe, the PCA will respond indicating their acceptance, and requesting any additional information as may be necessary.
The PCA will then issue directions, setting out the process to be followed. This will consist of the referrer (claimant) producing a statement of claim set out the grounds on which they believe the rental was incorrectly determined.
The respondent is then able to provide a statement of defence, that may be based on the argument that the rental was in fact determined correctly. Generally each party will have 14 days to put forward their respective arguments, after which any documentary evidence must be submitted along with a statement of agreed facts and issues in dispute.
The POB will usually instruct their solicitor to handle this process, who will most likely have experience dealing with a number of similar cases. We therefore advise the TPT to seek professional advice, and we can assist with this.
Once the PCA has all the required information, the adjudicator has certain powers. He may rule that the rental was correctly determined, but he does have the power to amend the determined rental or order a re-assessment. Generally the referrer will need compelling evidence to achieve such an outcome, but it’s vital that the TPT defends their position rigorously.
Given the complexities and procedural requirements, unfortunately this process can take many months to conclude. Unfortunately often it can be in the POB’s interest to refer even as a delay tactic, although the adjudicator does have powers to impose fines and cost awards if the POB’s are seen to be deliberately flouting this process. Once again only time will tell whether this will happen, as currently from our own experience we have found certain POB’s very keen to appeal, even against the advice of their own expert. It would be unfair to tar all POB’s with the same brush, as the different POB’s individually would seem to have very different policies.
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