On 1 December 2017 new legislation will come into force which will mean the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) will receive applications in respect of private sector rented cases and private residential tenancies.
Civil cases relating to the private rented sector will no longer be dealt with as a summary cause action raised within the Sheriff Court. There are no fees associated with applications to the Tribunal.
Private Rented Sector Cases
The sheriffs’ jurisdiction for civil cases relating to the private rented sector in Scotland will transfer to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).
This is intended to give landlords and tenants in the sector access to a specialist, accessible and consistent decision maker.
Landlords will be able to apply to the tribunal for eviction and repossession orders where there are grounds to do so.
Former tenants will be able to apply to the tribunal where they feel their tenancy has been terminated unlawfully.
Any actions presented to the courts prior to 1 December 2017 will continue before the sheriff until conclusion.
Private Residential Tenancies
The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 creates a new private residential tenancy for the private rented sector in Scotland.
The tribunal will accept applications from tenants and landlords where the terms of the new private residential tenancy are not being met, or where there is disagreement with the rent that has been set for the property by the rent officer.
Civil proceedings arising from the new private residential tenancy will be accepted by the tribunal alongside those for the existing tenancy types.
Arrangements for Applications to the Tribunal
Applications will be made to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) based in Glasgow. While there is a central administrative centre, tribunal hearings will be held in locations across Scotland.
Housing and property cases are generally heard in a more informal environment, by one or two members of the judiciary. The emphasis is on ensuring that both parties are able to contribute equally to any discussions and hearings, and that they are provided with appropriate support throughout the process.
From 1 December 2017 the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) will no longer be able to offer mediation as part of the tribunals process. The tribunal will however provide information on other mediation providers, should this be required.