New tenancy regime - First-tier Tribunal early feedback
Since 1st December 2017 civil disputes regarding the private rented sector are being dealt with by First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) rather than Sherrif Courts. Cases have included applications for eviction orders and debt recovery.
Feedback from those who used tribunal has been positive, but a couple of issues have been raised.
The tribunal is scrutinising applications when they are submitted and if any paperwork is not correct they are being rejected. If there are queries about applications, they are being put on hold whilst the landlord is asked to submit paperwork to clarify any ambiguities. The most common reason for applications being put on hold is where there is a discrepancy between the owner of the property named on the title deeds and married name is on the lease.
The tribunal is currently unable to take debt recovery actions if the tenant's whereabouts is not known. The only option for recovering debt from tenants whose whereabouts is unknown is through a simple procedure action at the sheriff court. It is possible that in future the tribunal may be able to take on these cases, but it requires a change in legislation.