If you are a Scottish landlord then you should beware of landlord legal advice on the internet. The internet can be a confusing place for landlords - with many unaware of the differences between the Scottish and English legal system. So should you believe internet landlord legal advice?
Scottish landlords can be easily misled by websites targeting English landlords referring to English procedures, which can leave the landlord vulnerable, particularly in the area of eviction. Some of the key differences are set out below.
Key legislation for landlords in Scotland are the Housing (Scotland) Acts 1988 and 2006 and the Private (Rented) Housing Act 2011. Most private landlords in Scotland will enter into either an assured tenancy or a short assured tenancy with their tenants. Scottish landlords have two options if evicting a tenant:-
The Breach Route
If the landlord has a ground for repossession under Schedule 5 of the 1988 Act, he can serve a notice of proceedings for possession on the tenant under section 19 of the Act, otherwise known as an AT6. The landlord then has 6 months from the date the AT6 is served on the tenant to commence legal proceedings.
The Section 33 Route
The landlord can serve a notice to quit terminating the tenancy at its end date ("ish") together with a notice giving the tenant a minimum of two months notice. If the notices have been validly served, a Sheriff should grant a court order for eviction.
In England, the private sector is mainly governed by the Housing Acts 1988 and 1996. English Tenants normally have an assured shorthold tenancy or an assured tenancy.
In general, landlords in England also have two routes for eviction
The Breach Route
A notice is served under section 8 (Housing Act 1988) if breach grounds under schedule 2 of the Act are established. Grounds vary depending on whether the tenancy has reached the end of its fixed term and whether they have referred to repossession on those grounds in the tenancy agreement.
The Section 21 Route
Similar to the section 33 procedure, where a landlord has an assured shorthold tenancy, a minimum of two months notice is required at the end of the tenancy. In certain circumstances, English landlords will have the benefit of an accelerated repossession procedure at court if the tenant does not remove which does not require a court hearing. There is unfortunately no such procedure in Scotland.
If you need landlord legal advice in relation to a Scottish property, get in touch with our team who are experts in the Scottish private rented sector.