Part 2, Housing and Planning Act 2016 (banning orders, rogue landlord database etc) came into force in April 2018. In very general terms, it created various new jurisdictions for the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), e.g. a local authority applied to the FTT (PC) for a banning order; challenges to fixed penalty notices go to the FTT etc.
On 31 August 2018 (so, several months after the main provisions came into force), the FTT published new application forms for these new applications. They’re at the bottom of this page here.
Now, I’m not one to pass up a helpful form. But it got me thinking – what else is the FTT behind on? And then it struck me – the FTT(PC) Procedure Rules haven’t been updated to refer to these new jurisdictions under the 2016 Act and so they don’t apply. That leads to some pretty worrying consequences.
(a) The absence of procedural rules obviously isn’t good, but the FTT (as with any inferior tribunal or court) always has sufficient inherent jurisdiction to regulate its own proceedings (see Mean Fidler v Islington ACQ/29/2001) then it can presumably work around that for a bit by issuing directions in the usual way.
(b) There is no time limit for appealing! The time limit is in the FTT rules, not in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (nor is there – as far as I can tell – a time limit in the 2016 Act for appealing from the FTT to the UT). Isn’t that a problem?
(c) It also means that the forms published by HMCTS are not mandatory; they are not prescribed by the FTT rules nor by a Practice Direction (which FTT r.26 can do, ‘tho as r.26 doesn’t apply anyway). So I don’t have to use them if I don’t want to.
Isn’t this all just a bit of a mess? It isn’t as big of a mess as, say, the legal nonsense that is shared ownership or the byzantine complexities of leasehold enfranchisement valuation. But it is still a mess.