FOI request to Scottish courts shows eviction takes 312 days!

by Property 118

11:38 AM, 14th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

FOI request to Scottish courts shows eviction takes 312 days!

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FOI request to Scottish courts shows eviction takes 312 days!

Is this what landlords in the rest of the UK have to look forward to post the ban on Section 21?

The Times  has reported on a Freedom of Information request made by Scottish law firm and lettings experts Aberdein Considine to the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service.

In 2017 all rent and repair issues in private sector housing were moved to a new Housing and Property Chamber Tribunal and since then the information returned by the FOI requests shows that on average it now takes 312 to evict a tenant in Scotland.

Adrian Sangster, National Lettings Director for Aberdein Considine, said: “By creating this increasingly hostile investment market for landlords, governments risk driving investors away, and by default cutting the availability of properties for let and driving up average rents.”

The total figure of 312 days is broken down by:

  • Average time to decide on an eviction application 141 days.
  • The eviction process can only begin after a tenant has accrued three months of rent arrears.
  • Tenants must receive a 28-day notice period added to the time taken for the tribunal’s decision to be published
  • Potential 30-day appeal period
  • 14 days for a charge for removal


Comments

Dr Rosalind Beck

12:10 PM, 14th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

This is a real shocker - although not a surprise - and gives a taste of what landlords in England have to look forward to once Section 21 is scrapped. 312 days is actually an average so in fact loads of evictions will take longer - with landlords losing huge amounts of money and undergoing terrible levels of stress.

On a personal level, my brother has a second house in Scotland - he had to move from the family home for work and so bought up in the north where he's lived during the week for the last 20 years. He retired last year and I'm very glad I advised him to not let it out, as I wouldn't want him to have to go through the stress of rogue tenants, not paying the rent, possibly wrecking the house and this being dragged out for nearly a year. It's just too much to risk. I reckon the result will be that there will be a lot of empty properties like his.

Of course there are also other problems in Scotland with no allowance made for student lets, so it would be good to get a Scottish landlord to explain what's happening with that - my understanding is that one thing is that you can't line any tenants up for the next academic year because your current tenants have indefinite tenancies, but I think tenants just have to give 28 days or a month's notice and leave when they like - so can sign one day and give the notice the day after, leaving landlords completely in the lurch - also giving notice at times when landlords would find it impossible to fill the voids. It would also be good if Scottish landlords could let us know what is happening with other HMO lets - eg to professionals.

It would be good if Scottish landlords could fill us in here on how this is affecting their businesses, with specific examples.

user_ 8640

13:00 PM, 14th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Obfuscated Data

Dr Rosalind Beck

13:27 PM, 14th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Amazonia Starbuck ........tax paying is for fools! at 14/01/2020 - 13:00
Don't trust your mystical powers. They are a fantasy.... I recommend an excellent book, 'Talking to Strangers' by Malcolm Gladwell - he argues how in fact no-one can judge character in this way and we often get it wrong. More important always is the paperwork and not the 'charm' or lack thereof of the potential tenant.

user_ 8640

19:00 PM, 14th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Obfuscated Data

paul robinson

9:42 AM, 15th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

SECTION 21 IS VITAL FOR SHARED HMO'S

Having met my local MP at his surgery I’d encourage all Landlords to do the same - voice your concerns and impact over scrapping section 21!!

The student and young professional shared HMO rental market needs fixed term tenancies and the vehicle of section 21 to accommodate this, plus give sufficient swift support to deal with antisocial behaviour and other matters if occurring in a HMO. Otherwise the other decent tenants would be continued to be affected and ultimately their safe enjoyment compromised by their antisocial housemate, leading to all sort of other issues.

Fixed term tenancies and the great benefit they bring to all parties in shared HMO are too long to list here, but fundamentally provide good quality accommodation to young professionals at a competitive price point, allowing them to save and getting on the property ladder themselves.

S21 is vital for safe and professional management of shared HMO's. Without this a problematic tenant will be able to cause total havoc and destress to their fellow housemates. A lot of anti-social behaviour by problematic tenants would be very difficult to prove in court and it is not fair to the decent housemates that the landlord will not able to deal with matter fairly and swiftly.

The government need look at the very different rental demographic, all across the UK and not as they have done with the tenant fee ban, role out “one size fits all” changes.

The proposed changes will again have a detrimental effect on decent tenants in fairly managed shared HMO’s and completely go against the governments goal of providing good quality shared and safe rental accommodation as a fair price!

The recent S21 consultation completely ignored the HMO shared rental sub market and the Ministry of Housing actually advised that it was more targeted at "single household rentals" and HMO shared rental Landlords would be best to use the "other" box to feed back their response.

In the following government document, there were an estimated 497,000 HMOs in England and Wales at the end of March 2018. http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN00708/SN00708.pdf How is it possible that so many HMO have not been recognised, or their landlords even encouraged to reply to the consultation?

This is fundamentally a flawed consultation and strongly suspect that the HMO shared rental students and young professional market will not be excluded from the abolition of S21.

The Ministry of Housing Confirmed the process would be:-

1) 12 week consultation
2) Info analyses and report written to government
3) Government would decide if to raise a bill
4) As primary legislation, would require a vote my MP’s in parliament.

Would urge HMO landlords to contact their MP and also these parties (subject to who currently resides as Housing Secretaries):-

Robert Jenrick – Housing Secretary

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: ‪020 7219 7335‬
Email: robert.jenrick.mp@parliament.uk

John Healey – Shadow

Parliamentary
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: ‪020 7219 6359‬
Email: john.healey.mp@parliament.uk

Plus copy in the RLA & NLA:-

john.stewart@rla.org.uk
Policy@landlords.org.uk

John Gell

9:48 AM, 15th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

The First-tier Tribunal deals with a whole range of landlord/tenant disputes and other housing matters and not just cases arising from non-payment of rent. It would be good to get an understanding from the tribunal service of the cause(s) of delay (other than the statutory periods referred to in the article): Shortage of tribunal members? Infrequency of hearings?
Replacement of Sheriff Court procedures by references to the Tribunal were expected to bring speedier resolution and it will be important to understand why this isn't happening and consider measures to improve matters.

Luke P

16:04 PM, 15th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by John Gell at 15/01/2020 - 09:48
Far too sensible, John. It was all knee-jerk, tenant-weighted wishful thinking.

Jireh Homes

4:36 AM, 20th January 2020
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 14/01/2020 - 12:10
Hi Rosalind - luckily to date not had any tenant move out in less than 6 months from start of lease, although recently had a prospective tenant who let slip their reason for seeking to rent was lower cost than a serviced (AirBnB) apartment as only looking for short term accommodation. At least they were honest!


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