The Housing Bill is proposing significant changes to the law relating to many aspects of social housing including Short Scottish Secure Tenancies.
One significant part of the Housing (Scotland) Bill deals with proposed changes to the regime of Short Scottish Secure Tenancies (SSSTs).
The Housing Bill proposes:
- New grounds for creating SSSTs
- New provision for converting SSTs to short SSTs
- New rules on initial length of certain SSSTs
- New rules on extending the initial period
- New rules about eviction from certain SSSTs
New grounds for creating Short Scottish Secure Tenancies
Landlords will be given a new ground for creating initial SSSTs where tenants had previously behaved in an antisocial manner. This proposed change will mean a previous eviction based on antisocial behaviour or a current or former antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) is not necessary.
There will also be a new ground for granting a SSST to a homeowner to allow works to their existing home.
New provision for converting Scottish Secure Tenancies to Short Scottish Secure Tenancies
A similar change will be made to the provision where SSTs can be converted to short SSTs Again the proposed change will mean that conversion can occur without the need to obtain an ASBO.
New rules on initial length of certain Short Scottish Secure Tenancies
In cases where a SSST is created or granted because of previous antisocial behaviour, the initial term will be 12 months not 6 months. The rule about automatic conversion back to a full SST at end of the initial period is retained.
New rules on extending the initial period
These rules will apply only to SSSTs created because of ASB .It will be possible to extend initial 12 month period for further 6 months. The tenant needs to be in receipt of housing support services and the landlord must serve a Notice two months before expiry date. It will only be possible to extend the period once.
New rules about eviction from certain Short Scottish Secure Tenancies
Changes will be made to the rules about eviction in SSSTs based on previous ASB. It will now only be possible where there has been a breach of tenancy. Landlords will require to specify the alleged breach in the pre-court notice.
The tenant will be given a new right to ask landlord to review the decision to serve the pre-court notice. That request must be made within 14 days of service .The landlord must review the decision and advise the tenant of the outcome of the review. If the decision is to proceed with the notice then reasons must be given.
If you have any queries regarding the new Housing (Scotland) Bill, please do not hesitate to contact any member of our housing team.