New Rules on paper determinations in the Tribunal

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen the introduction of a number of new Practice Directions for Tribunals (available here, here and here), together with specific guidance for FTT users (available here).

On 10th April, the Tribunal Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2020 came into force.

The new Rules extend the circumstances in which Tribunals may direct that a decision be made without a hearing, or for a hearing to be heard in private.


Paper determinations

Under the Tribunal Procedure (First Tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013, a Tribunal is required to hold a hearing disposing of the proceedings unless the parties consent to proceeding without a hearing.  In other words, for a Tribunal to determine matters on the papers, they need the consent of the parties.

The new Rules amend this.

Under the new Rules, the Tribunal *may* make a decision on the papers (ie without a hearing) if the following conditions are met:

  1. the matter is urgent;
  2. it’s not reasonably practicable to hold a hearing (including a hearing where the proceedings would conducted wholly or partly as video proceedings or audio proceedings); and
  3. it is in the interests of justice to do so.



Whilst the new Rules on paper determinations aren’t going to impact every case currently with the Tribunal, it’s likely that we’re going to have more matters determined on the papers in the next few months or so.



15 April 2020

Cassandra Zanelli

Widely recognised for her expertise in the industry, and listed among the 100 most influential people in residential leasehold management, Cass heads the team at PM Legal Services. Passionate about education and sharing knowledge, she's a regular speaker at conferences, events and seminars, having worked with leading organisations in the property management industry.

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