After much debate and a lot of discussion it would appear that we are now very close to the introduction of another Housing Bill in the Scottish Parliament.
This Bill is expected to propose a number of changes to the rules which govern tenancies in the public sector in Scotland. We expect the proposals in the Bill to cover almost every area of housing management law.
We anticipate the following proposals
- Changes to the rules on ?reasonable preference? and priority in allocation of housing. Landlords will be able to determine individually ?which groups they believe should have priority.
- Changes to rules relating to matters which can be taken into account when allocating properties. The age of an applicant and whether the applicant owns other property will become factors that can be considered.
- Introduction of a qualifying period before a housing application becomes ?live?.
- Social landlords will be given flexibility to grant Short SSTs (or convert existing full SSTs) where applicants have acted antisocially in or near their home within the last 3 years.
- Social landlords will be given flexibility to grant Short SSTs to home owners who require housing to enable them to meet their own housing need.
- Changes will also be proposed to the rules which relate to short SSTs which convert to full SSTs after 12 months. A new minimum period is likely to be proposed together with a possible extension to 18 months before the tenancy converts.
- New rules relating to eviction from a short SST will be introduced, confirming that a reason must be given and a review undertaken if requested.
- Changes to rules on assignation and subletting will see a longer qualifying period before an assignation can be sought and new reasons for refusals including ?under-occupation? or lack of housing need.
- A 12 month period of prior occupancy will be reintroduced for those claiming succession to a tenancy who are not joint tenants or were married or civil partners to the deceased.
- Eviction rules will also be changed. It is anticipated that the Bill will include a proposal for a mandatory eviction where a tenant has been convicted of using the house for illegal purposes or has committed an offence punishable by imprisonment within the previous 12 months.
As always we will ensure that our clients are kept fully informed of all these changes!!? Please don?t hesitate to contact our team for more information.