Upper Tribunal rules on long standing dispute over tenancy status

A dispute between a tenant and her landlords over the status of her tenancy has been successfully appealed by the tenant at the Upper Tribunal. In an earlier decision, summarised here, the Upper Tribunal took the view that the tenancy was not a private residential tenancy (PRT). Following an appeal request a new Upper Tribunal decision has ruled that the tenancy was a PRT.

The case relates to a tenant residing in an HMO property in Edinburgh who was not given a written tenancy agreement by her landlords when she moved into a vacant room. The landlord was of the opinion that she had been assigned an interest in a joint and several short assured tenancy for the whole flat which had been running for several years. The tenant was of the view that she had a PRT for (and was only responsible for paying rent for) part of the property.

One of the requirements for the PRT legislation to apply is that the property is let to an individual as a “separate dwelling”. Clause 2(4) of the PRT legislation states that tenancies where facilities are shared with others are to be regarded as separate dwellings and on the basis of this clause the new Upper Tribunal decision found in the tenant’s favour. The landlord was ordered to pay the tenant £700 (twice the monthly rent) for failing to provide a written PRT agreement.

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