Case reference: All London cases with the prefix LON
Property: All affected properties
Type of application: All types of application
Tribunal member: Regional Tribunal Judge Powell
Venue: 10 Alfred Place, London WC1E 7LR
Date of decision: 19 March 2020
(1) All listed hearing dates for cases proceeding in the London Region of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Residential Property are hereby postponed until after 29 May 2020.
(2) Where parties can continue to comply with existing directions in current cases, they should seek to do so and co-operate with each other for this purpose. Save to that extent, all current directions on existing cases are suspended until after 29 May 2020. Thereafter, the tribunal will aim to issue fresh directions, unless circumstances prevent this happening.
(3) Urgent applications only may be sent to London.Rap@Justice.gov.uk and should be marked as URGENT in the subject line of the email. Where possible, such applications will be dealt with remotely by email, telephone and/or video conferencing. Contact email addresses and telephone numbers must be provided.
1. The Tribunal is concerned to ensure that it conducts its hearings on the basis of the overriding objective. It considers that proper consideration of the implications of the Coronavirus pandemic constitutes a relevant matter to be taken into account in ensuring that a hearing is conducted fairly and justly.
2. Where the interests of justice require that a case be decided promptly or an application requires urgent consideration, the balance of interest will incline towards the maintenance of a hearing date. Where, on the other hand, the interests of justice would not be impacted by a reasonable delay, then considerations of health and the possible impact on parties’ health of travelling to and taking part in a hearing will carry greater weight.
3. In this case, I consider that the risk to health of parties attending hearings, and of staff and judiciary in administering them, is paramount and the interests of justice will not be impacted by the modest delays brought about by this decision. I also bear in mind that the tribunal’s resources in the London Region are severely depleted by the pandemic and decisions may be made by government soon that will further restrict access to the London hearing centre.
4. For these reasons, I have decided that the hearing of all cases in the London Region should be postponed until after 29 May 2020.
5. The tribunal will review the position after the end of May 2020, or earlier if circumstances permit.
19 March 2020