Mon 11 Dec 2017

Changes to eviction proceedings for residential tenancies

The route to be followed to evict tenants from residential property in Scotland saw some significant changes come in to force on 1 December 2017.

Traditionally it has been the case that, if a landlord requires to evict a tenant from a property and the tenant does not remove from the property after they have been served with the appropriate notices, the landlord would need to raise proceeding in the Sheriff Court.  However, from 1 December 2017 it has become necessary for an application to be made instead to the Housing and Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal (the Tribunal).

The Tribunal has jurisdiction to deal with evictions where the tenant has a private residential tenancy, which is the new form of tenancy agreement created by the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 which replaced other types of tenancies from 1 December 2017.  The Tribunal also has jurisdiction to deal with eviction proceedings related to other types of private sector residential tenancies in Scotland including orders for possession in relation to assured and short assured tenancies.

The Tribunal itself is based in Glasgow but, it has been said that hearings will be held in locations across Scotland as required.  A new form has been produced for applications to the Tribunal which replaces the court pleadings which would previously have been drafted.  The Tribunal has some flexibility in the way in which it deals with applications and can give directions to parties regarding the conduct or progress of applications.  It has the power to determine cases on the basis of written submissions alone without a hearing taking place.  When fixing hearings are fixed parties will generally get no less than 14 days notice.

Ultimately, it is possible that landlords could see a benefit to applications being made to the Tribunal as they may see cases being resolved more quickly and with less cost.

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