The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal in a case to decide whether a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) can be made against a superior landlord, usually the property owner, not just the immediate landlord.

It follows the long-running legal battle of Rakusen v Jepsen, culminating in August last year when the Court of Appeal ruled that RROs only apply to the immediate landlord, which was good news for those who find their property has been sublet unknowingly in rent-to-rent set-ups but not for tenants who struggle to take dodgy companies to task.

It overturned a previous decision by the Upper Tribunal, which ruled that an RRO application could be made against any landlord of the relevant property for the relevant period of the relevant offence.

Martin Rakusen granted a tenancy of his flat within Mandeville Mansion (pictured) on the Finchley Road in London, to Kensington Property Investment Group Ltd (KPIG) in May 2016, introduced by agents Hamptons.

KPIG then entered into separate written agreements with the four tenants.

Licence application

In November 2018, Hamptons told Rakusen that KPIG wanted to apply for a licence but none was granted and Rakusen did not renew KPIG’s tenancy in May 2019.

The tenants then applied for, and won, RROs totalling £26,140. Last year, the Court of Appeal allowed Rakusen’s appeal and struck out the claim against him, ruling that the correct interpretation of the law should relate to only the immediate landlord.

MORE: Read the full July 2021 Court of Appeal judgement

Landmark Chambers, which represents Safer Renting, says the case would be the first time the Supreme Court will consider the ‘rogue landlord’ provisions in the Housing Act 2004 and Housing and Planning Act 2016.

The appeal is expected to be heard towards the end of this year or early 2023.


  1. It is obvious RRO should be for the LL with whom tenants have their rental contract.

    A Superior LL doesn’t have a contract with the tenants of a RTR LL who is the tenant of the Superior LL.

    This is just an attempt to screw money out of Superior LL as it is generally the case that RTR LL DON’T have a pot to piss in!!

    It is in their very nature that most RTR LL are potless.

    Perhaps there should be a legal requirement for ANY RTR situation to indicate the owner and usually the Superior LL on the AST contract.

    No liability for the Superior LL but at least tenants would know their RTR LL didn’t own the property.

    They could then decide whether a RTR tenancy was appropriate for them.

    For most mortgaged rental properties fraudulent RTR is the case.

  2. Let’s hope common sense prevails in the Suprreme court but it shouldn’t have had to go this far and at huge expense to show that it is the landlord who issued the tenancy to the tenant at the end of the chain (actually residing at the property) in these RTR arrangements (scams!).
    RTR should be outlawed – they are simply a way to make money without investing anything which shows no commitment.
    Of course the the legal point will be still be ‘Who is the immediate landlord? if no where to found and so no protection to the residing tenant – a failure of the law (probably badly drafted) to properly define which level of landlord in the kegal relationship is liable for RROs and so protect the residing tenant and as well superior landlords.


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