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Tribunal delays for eviction a concern for landlords

Posted by Andrew Cutt on January 20, 2020
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You may have read recently that figures uncovered by Aberdein Considine have brought to light the financial impact on landlords, who are undertaking eviction proceedings through the FtT, particularly those where rent arrears are the grounds for eviction.

Changes in legislation introduced by the Scottish Government, transferred responsibility for rent and repair issues from Scotland’s Courts to the Housing and Property Chamber Tribunal.  However, in the past year, more than 3,800 applications were made by landlords and the FtT is struggling with the caseload.  Figures show that the average time from eviction application to eviction order is 141 days.

We know that the eviction process can only begin following three months’ rent arrears, that in itself is a considerable loss, add to that the 28 day notice period, over a month for written confirmation and appeal period from the FtT, and then the considerable time to process and authorise the eviction, landlords could be faced with a 10 month period of uncollected rent.  A recent article by Scottish Housing News, confirmed the worst case on record thus far had a landlord waiting 429 days to secure an eviction order.

The findings also concluded that 20% of applications are rejected on technical grounds, meaning landlords must start the process again.

It is evidently imperative then, that landlords get their applications and notices right first time round.   We strongly suggest you seek legal guidance if you manage your own portfolio, or alternatively use templates and guidance provided by SAL (membership required) or the Scottish Government prior to commencing legal proceedings.

At Evergreen we pride ourselves on having a rigorous vetting process for all tenants, and understand the importance of relationships between agent/landlord and the tenant.  Issuing tenants with notice is thankfully a rare occurrence for us, but when we do we have never had to progress a case beyond the notice period.  We firmly believe that with good management, honesty and transparency, we can avoid pursuing legal action in most (and so far all) of our cases.

The full Aberdine Considine research article can be found here – https://www.acandco.com/news/article/eviction-delays

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