Information about the HTU's decisions
The Rent Disputes Tribunal's decisions look like judgements and become effective in the same way as judgements.
If a claim has been notified to a respondent, such cases can be decided even if the respondent fails to respond to the claim. The HTU cannot avoid processing claims, and nor can it refer cases to the Court of Appeal. The HTU does not hand down "judgements in absentia" whereby a respondent who fails to respond automatically loses his case and the decision is made in favour of the complainant. Decisions are made following assessment of the information presented.
Grounds for making decisions
The HTU decides cases in accordance with the law. The Norwegian Tenancy Act and the lease are the main points of reference for deciding any rights and obligations which landlords and tenants have towards each other. (There also is an English version of the Norwegian Tenancy Act. Even if it does not include later updates of the law, we chose to publish it because it might be to some help for english-speaking people.)
The HTU considers cases on the basis of all the documents which have been presented by the parties involved. If one party has not provided adequate documentation in respect of the claims he could risk losing what might otherwise have been a good case.
In respect of cases relating to termination, the parties are invited to attend a meeting with the Tribunal which will decide the case in question. At such meetings the parties will be able to talk about any arguments they have in favour of and against termination, and the Tribunal will be able to ask questions. Such meetings are held even if one of the parties fails to attend. The HTU can also make use of verbal information at such meetings.
Contents of decisions
Decisions are thorough and are similar to those handed down by the Court of Appeal. Mention is made of the parties' claims and their most important arguments. The individual claims are subjected to legal evaluation and a response is provided along with justification for each individual claim. The conclusions are summarised in a conclusion of judgement ("decision") which stipulates who is obliged to do what. The HTU tries to write its decisions down in a way which is easy to understand.
Processing by the Court of Appeal, if required
If one of the parties is not happy with the HTU's decision, they can submit an appeal to the Court of Appeal. They should submit their letter of appeal (writ) to the Court of Appeal by no later than 1 month after they received notification of the decision.
If a case is appealed to the Court of Appeal before the deadline, the HTU's decision will not be binding (legally enforceable). The parties will then have to wait for a decision to be made by the Court of Appeal and for the Court's decision to become binding. This can take a long time. Cases submitted to the Court of Appeal can cost a lot of money, party because the parties will normally have to hire a lawyer to help them. Whoever loses the case will generally have to pay the costs incurred to both his own lawyer and to the other party's lawyer. This can cost more than the disputed claim.
If neither of the parties submits the HTU's decision to the Court of Appeal, the decision will be binding. This means that the parties will have to comply with the decision.