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Upper Tribunal critical of First-tier Tribunal's lack of reasons for refusing to allow appeal out of time.

The FtT refused to grant an extension of time for the Applicant's appeal against a financial penalty imposed for alleged breaches of his statutory obligations as a landlord of HMO premises.

Following receipt of notice of the financial penalty, the Applicant had 28 days to provide the FtT with any appeal.

The Applicant, aged 73, submitted his appeal almost two months after receipt of notice (ie. approximately one month late).

In doing so the Applicant acknowledged he was out of time, sought an extension of time, and explained he had suffered a period of illness after testing positive for Covid such that he had not been well enough to appeal sooner.

The FtT rejected the request for an extension out of hand, determining that the Applicant's reasons "did not justify a delay of this magnitude".

On appeal, the Upper Tribunal set aside the FtT's decision not to extend time and reinstated the Applicant's appeal against the financial penalty.

In doing so, the Upper Tribunal Judge referred to the explanation of the FtT's refusal to extend time having been expressed in "entirely generic terms" without proper engagement with the Applicant's reasons for not having submitting his appeal in time.

Whilst timescales for Tribunal appeals are critical, and clearly ought to be observed wherever possible, the refusal of an extension is capable of challenge where it is not properly reasoned.