An update on the first 18 months of the Housing & Property Chamber

On 1 December 2017, the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber took over from the sheriff court in dealing with all private rented sector (PRS) disputes, including evictions, debt recovery actions, cases against landlords who have failed to comply with deposit scheme regulations and letting agents who have failed to comply with their code of practice.

Caroline Elgar, policy manager at SAL, gives an overview of how the tribunal has fared so far in our summer 2019 edition of Landlord Focus, (members please remember to log in to access our documents and online editions of our magazine).

Tenants are making use of this easier and cheaper access to justice. There has been a significant increase in the number of tenants taking action against their landlord for failing to lodge deposits. For landlords who’ve been toeing the line for years, it will be welcome news that those who haven’t are finally being brought to task, with the worst offenders being fined the maximum three times the deposit.

A further benefit is that all tribunal decisions are published on their website. This database of decisions is a useful resource for landlords to refer to for guidance on the outcome of similar cases. As it can be searched by name, it can also be used by landlords, tenants and letting agents to carry out background checks on a party they’re considering entering into a contract with to see if they have a history of non-compliance with contractual terms or legislation.

SAL has experience of helping hundreds of landlords and letting agents to navigate their way through tribunal cases. If you need help with a case you are involved in, don’t hesitate to contact our helpline on 0131 564 0100 or refer to our website, where we have a number of member resources, including a list of answers to frequently asked questions on evictions and debt recovery actions.

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