Glasgow: 0141 221 5562 Edinburgh: 0131 220 7660

New Public Procurement Thresholds 2020/2021

New Public Procurement Thresholds 2020/2021

The European Commission has released its updated public procurement thresholds that applies to Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) from 1?January 2020. Every two years, the European Commission updates the financial thresholds at which the EU Directives apply.

The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 set out specific procedures for awarding contracts in excess of the threshold values. Generally, when the value of a contract exceeds the thresholds (see below), it is a mandatory requirement that you publish a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union

Abandonment Proceedings

Abandonment Proceedings

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 (2001 Act) allows the landlord of a Scottish Secure Tenancy to recover an abandoned property without the need for court proceedings. Section 17, 18 and 19 of the 2001 Act deal with this procedure.

The procedure can only be applied where the landlord has reasonable grounds for believing that:

  • the house is unoccupied; and
  • the tenant does not intend to occupy it.

To ascertain if this is the position the Housing Association should carry out diligent inquiries and retain a

Finding A Traineeship: A (Brief) A-Z From A Trainees Perspective

Finding A Traineeship: A (Brief) A-Z From A Trainees Perspective

You have studied hard, attained your law degree and you are finally ready to be a Trainee Solicitor. Now, all that is left to do is to find a traineeship! But, how exactly do you do that?

Importantly, the answer to this is not the same for everyone. For some, the answer is more straightforward than others. They may have always have dreamt of being a high-flying Commercial Solicitor and know that this is what they intend to pursue. For others, they may fancy themselves

Can a Landlord Serve a Notice to Leave in Anticipation of Arrears?

Can a Landlord Serve a Notice to Leave in Anticipation of Arrears?

The Private Residential Tenancy regime provides that ?it is an eviction ground that the tenant has been in rent arrears for three or more consecutive months? (Ground 12 of Schedule 3 of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016).

There appears to have been a perception that a landlord could serve a Notice to Leave relying on this ground as soon as a tenant entered into arrears. The landlord would then delay raising proceedings until such time as three consecutive months of arrears had accrued.

Election 2019: Implications for Employment Law

Election 2019: Implications for Employment Law

As we wake up this morning we are presented with the seismic shift in the landscape of UK politics with the Conservatives taking control of the House of Commons with a landslide victory. Whilst the reality of what lies ahead in the next 5 years remains to be seen, there will of course be an impact on employment law as a result of this election.

In their manifesto, the Conservatives proposed to create a single enforcement body for employment rights to enforce employment law

Difference between a servitude and a wayleave

Difference between a servitude and a wayleave

The key difference is that a wayleave does not have to comply with any strict rules of creation. Wayleaves provide rights similar to those found in servitudes but can be created without the need to identify a benefited property. Wayleaves are binding for a specified period and against successors in title rather than being personal to a grantor.

Reminder of what a servitude is

A servitude is a real right which attaches to land and is independent of ownership. It can only be created over

I'm Appointed As An Executor - What Are My Responsibilities?

I'm Appointed As An Executor - What Are My Responsibilities?

Choosing who you wish to implement the terms of your Will can be a difficult decision. After all, this is the person you will trust to ensure that your estate is administered according to your wishes. An executor is a person who is appointed by someone who is making a Will (also known as the testator) to carry out their instructions as set out in their Will.

If you have been appointed as an executor, several considerations should be borne in mind. Firstly, as an

Tenancy Deposit Scheme Reminder

Tenancy Deposit Scheme Reminder

It's rarely in the best interests of a landlord/tenant relationship to have to move a disagreement over deposits to court proceedings. In some instances though, it is an inevitable result of a landlord not adhering to the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. Between December 2017 and June 2019, there were over 200 cases where the tenancy deposit regulations had been breached and an award was granted against the landlord by the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (FTT).

The regulations state

Managing Someone Else's Finances

Managing Someone Else's Finances

When you, or someone close to you, has been diagnosed with a deteriorating health condition thinking about day-to-day practicalities can be difficult, for example managing finances.

To allow someone to manage your day-to-day banking (but not open or close accounts or apply for overdraft) can be arranged by means of a Third Party Mandate. The account holder signs a mandate allowing the third party to pay bills and assist in managing the account on a day-to-day basis. This type of arrangement is suitable for someone

Energy Efficiency Regulations To Come Into Force

Energy Efficiency Regulations To Come Into Force

The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 are proposed to come into force on 1 April 2020.

The purpose of these regulations is to tackle the the least energy-efficient properties in Scotland.

These regulations outline minimum standards of energy efficiency landlords must meet for domestic private rented properties. EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) are used to measure this standard.

The regulations provide that a landlord is not permitted to let a domestic property if the energy performance indicator for the property is below

Tenancy Deposit Update - LANDLORD WARNING!!!

Tenancy Deposit Update - LANDLORD WARNING!!!

Since 2012, landlords in Scotland have been required to lodge security deposits in one of three approved tenancy deposit schemes. Landlords should by now be well aware of their obligations to lodge deposits within 30 working days and to provide tenants with specific information relating to the tenancy and the deposit. The scheme is regulated by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

On 11 November 2019 the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2019 made a number of changes to the 2011 provisions. Perhaps,

Letters of Wishes

Letters of Wishes

You have made a Will. Congratulations! This now means all of your affairs are in order, your Will can be easily interpreted upon your death and your family will understand your reasons for what you have chosen to include in your Will. Well, not necessarily. It can, at times, be difficult to understand someone?s Will after their death and it may be that a Letter of Wishes can clarify matters.

What is a Letter of Wishes?

A Letter of Wishes is as it says: a

Title Conditions - What a Burden

Title Conditions - What a Burden

Are you a property owner whose title deeds contain conditions which are out-of-date or unclear or in some way now proving to be unduly onerous or prohibitive to the use and enjoyment of your property? Are you looking for ways to have your title conditions varied or even discharged?

It is possible to vary and/or discharge many conditions which appear in title deeds and there are a number of ways in which this can be achieved. Two practical courses of action are open to owners

Thinking of a care accommodation move for yourself or a family member?

Thinking of a care accommodation move for yourself or a family member?

There can be many reasons for someone requiring a move to a care home from being less able to do the things you used to do, recurring falls or starting to feel lonely. Care homes have trained staff on hand, which may help to remove risks you may face at home. It is perfectly normal to have conflicted feelings about a care home move for yourself or a family member. So what are the things you should think about before moving into care accommodation?

Different

Prescriptive Possession

Prescriptive Possession

Have you possessed land for which you have registered a deed - openly, peacefully and without judicial interruption? If yes, you may have obtained good title to it.

The law, or prescription, operating for sasine titles has remained unchanged since the introduction of the Prescription and Limitations (Scotland) Act 1973 in that where a title includes a description of land 'habile' to include it is possible to gain rights over that land over a passage of time. This principle is referred to as prescription.

You own a business? Make a Will!

You own a business? Make a Will!

For many, the prospect of making a Will to adequately provide for their family can seem a rather daunting task. However, when you are a business owner, the number of issues to be considered increases. With that in mind, why should business owners make a Will? Is it really that important?

Planning for the future

Succession planning is often at the forefront of a business owner?s mind to ensure that the business can carry on when they are no longer here. A Will should be

Repayment Charges for Registered Social Landlords

Repayment Charges for Registered Social Landlords

When proprietors within a tenement instruct a repair by dint of a Scheme Decision made in terms of the Tenement Management Scheme (Schedule 1 to the Tenement (Scotland) Act 2004) any owner in such a tenement can, if they wish, arrange for the repair and then look to the other owners for a contribution to the cost.

In mixed tenure tenements where there are privately owned flats and units let in terms of affordable tenancies (social tenancies) a social landlord might find themselves in such

Modern Apprentice Opportunities

Modern Apprentice Opportunities

At TC Young, we offer modern apprentice opportunities in all of our offices. We have worked with school leavers for a number of years (before it was called a modern apprenticeship) and it is a recruitment method that we feel offers excellent training for school leavers. It is also a relationship that we continue to benefit from with individuals receiving training in different areas of the business.

A long time ago ?? we had a plan:

  1. To recruit a legal secretary; however we struggled to

Short Scottish Secure Tenancy for Support Needs

Short Scottish Secure Tenancy for Support Needs

Grounds for Offering an SSST

There are presently 9 grounds on which a Registered Social Landlord may offer a prospective new tenant an SSST (a short Scottish secure tenancy). One of those grounds is that the property is to be let on a temporary basis to a person who is in receipt of a housing support service. This ground can only be relied on where none of the other grounds apply. It is also important to note that this ground cannot be relied on where

Funeral Expenses Payment in Scotland

Funeral Expenses Payment in Scotland

Today sees the introduction of a new Social Security Scotland benefit to assist those on low incomes to meet the costs of a funeral. ?The payment, known as Funeral Expenses Payment, can help pay for some of the costs of the funeral (burial/cremation fees, travel to arrange or attend funeral, death certificate & other documents). Up to ?700 is available for other funeral expenses (e.g. flowers, coffin or funeral director?s fees).

The payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral. The

What is a Home Report?

What is a Home Report?

Home Reports provide buyers, solicitors and mortgage lenders with a clear market valuation of residential property on the open market for sale and give detailed information on the condition of the property.

The onus is now with the seller of a property in Scotland, who wishes to sell their residential property on the open market, to provide a home report to any potential buyers. Failure to do so could result in you being fined up to ?500.

A Home Report comprises three separate reports these

Tenement Repairs - a common problem

Tenement Repairs - a common problem

Are you the owner of a property in a tenement? If you are, can you answer the following:-

  • Who owns the various parts in your tenement building?
  • Who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of your tenement?
  • What do you do if tenement repairs are required?
  • Who is settling the account for your tenement repairs?

If you are unable to answer these questions, and repairs are required in your tenement, the starting point is to check the title deeds which relate to your property.

Unauthorised Sub-Letting of Social Housing

Unauthorised Sub-Letting of Social Housing

With the availability of websites such as Gumtree and Airbnb, we have seen a sharp rise in tenants engaging in unauthorised sub-letting.

Where the landlord of such properties is a Registered Social Landlord (RSL), the unauthorised sub-letting of a property for excessive sums of money (sometimes whilst the rental charge due to the RSL goes unaddressed!) goes against the principles of social housing.

The present legal position is that an RSL tenant can only sub-let the property with the prior written permission of the landlord.

Shared Equity and Rural Housing Burdens

Shared Equity and Rural Housing Burdens

With shared equity schemes, including Homestake and LiFT, now becoming increasingly popular some Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and their subsidiaries who are Rural Housing Bodies, have applied a Rural Housing Burden (RHB) on their shared equity developments. How does shared equity and rural housing burdens work?

What is a Rural Housing Burden?

The official definition is: -

A perpetual personal right of pre-emption contained within the title deeds of a property in favour of a rural housing body which allows the rural housing body the

Changes to Inheritance Tax?

Changes to Inheritance Tax?

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has made some recommendations and proposals to make changes to Inheritance Tax. Whilst these proposals may look good on the surface, do they actually lead to the elimination of some useful tax breaks such as taper relief?

Timescales

A welcome proposal made by the OTS is the reduction of the seven-year gifting rule to five years. This would see individuals being able to make gifts to their children and only have to survive five years for it to

Recovering Arrears from Joint Tenants of Scottish Secure Tenancies

Recovering Arrears from Joint Tenants of Scottish Secure Tenancies

Joint and Several Liability - what does it mean?

If there are two or more joint tenants to a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement, they will be jointly and severally liable for all of that tenancy's contractual obligations. What this means for the landlord is that it can hold either one or all of the tenants responsible for any arrears. In effect, the Association, has a choice regarding which of the tenants to pursue. This can often be a practical decision. For example, if you

Beware bills for balcony repairs!

Beware bills for balcony repairs!

Having dealt with a number of queries involving balcony repairs in both tenements and flatted dwelling house complexes, it is useful to learn lessons from the experience of others. The recurring question of ownership was highlighted in a recent case, Speirs Gumley Property Management v- Lafferty.

Factors for a development in Paisley carried out 'necessary repairs' to individual balconies affixed and forming part of a building they managed. The factors billed everyone treating such repairs as 'common repairs'. The Deed of Conditions which appeared

What is the difference between a power of attorney and guardianship?

What is the difference between a power of attorney and guardianship?

Often people will ask - what is the difference between a power of attorney and guardianship or if one is better than the other? Our simple guide below explains the difference.

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is a legal document which you ('the grantor') grant in favour of another person ('the attorney') to make decisions relating to your finances, property and/or welfare. In Scotland this is known as a continuing and welfare power of attorney (lasting and enduring power of attorney in England &

What is a Liferent?

What is a Liferent?

Dependent upon your family circumstances, it may be sensible to consider including a liferent provision in your Will. However, what is a liferent exactly and how may it benefit you?

What is a liferent? 

A liferent can be used where you wish your spouse, for instance, to benefit from the income from your assets or be in a position to use those assets, without them having outright entitlement to/ownership of those assets. Instead, the assets will ultimately pass to others; most commonly, your children.

A

Further Changes for Private Landlord Registration Regulations

Further Changes for Private Landlord Registration Regulations

On 16 September 2019, The Private Landlord Registration (Information) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 came into effect, introducing a more comprehensive, rigorous application process in order to raise general awareness amongst landlords of their legal requirements and to provide better assurance to private rented sector tenants of landlord competence and compliance. In short, the regulations have changed the landlord registration process with the aim to improve standards within the private rented sector in order that homes rented to tenants are of good quality and are being

Government Launches Consultation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Government Launches Consultation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The government has just launched a consultation on how to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. The consultation seeks views on how employers can be encouraged to better prioritise the prevention of sexual harassment.

Consideration is being given to a new duty to require employers to actively protect staff from harassment in the workplace. This would enhance current requirements by placing a preventative duty on employers to take action, for example, implementing an equality policy, raising awareness, providing training and dealing effectively with complaints.

The

The Price of a Data Breach

The Price of a Data Breach

We previously blogged about data protection breaches under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how to deal with the aftermath. Since then, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued its first fine using the GDPR, which came into force in May 2018, and accompanying Data Protection Act 2018.

Under previous legislation, the maximum monetary penalty that could be imposed by the ICO was £500,000. Only Facebook and Equifax have been the recipients of fines at the maximum level, falling safely within the umbrella of

Trust Deeds and Sequestration in the Social Housing Sector

Trust Deeds and Sequestration in the Social Housing Sector

It is a frustrating situation for Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) when tenants become insolvent and any outstanding debt becomes irrecoverable. Below we answer some common questions around tenants signing trust deeds and sequestration.

Are we obliged to write off any debt? At what stage do we do so?

When a tenant enters into a trust deed, any tenancy debt is affected only if that trust deed proceeds to become protected. You should initially receive communication from a trustee advising that the debtor/tenant has entered into

Housing Regulations for Veterans

Housing Regulations for Veterans

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 (Modification of Schedule 1) Regulations 2019

On 1st July 2019 the above regulations will come into force. These regulations modify the provisions of the 2016 Act whereby residential tenancies granted by charities to provide housing for veterans or temporary accommodation to care leavers cannot be classed as Private Residential Tenancies. This means that such tenancies will sit outside of the statutory regime.

The new regulations do not have retrospective effect. This means that tenancies granted by these organisations

Failsafe Beneficiary - Future Proofing Your Will

Failsafe Beneficiary - Future Proofing Your Will

We're all going on a summer holiday??

It's that time of year again. Sun, sea and sand... it?s holiday time.

Multi-generational travel has increased markedly over the past few years. No longer is it simply mum, dad and the children jetting off abroad, it is now mum, dad, the grandparents, the grandchildren etc. Whilst family time on those long summer days is on everyone's mind, it is also important to consider what if something happened to all of us? Do I need a failsafe beneficiary?

New Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detection Loan Scheme for RSLs

New Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detection Loan Scheme for RSLs

From 1 February 2021 Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) will need to ensure that the fire and carbon monoxide detection systems in their residential properties meet the new 'tolerable standard'. The Scottish Government has introduced a loan scheme in order to assist RSLs implement the changes that may be required. For a further explanation of the new 'tolerable standard' please see our previous blog post.

The loan scheme is called: The Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detection Loan Scheme. Through this scheme, RSLs will be able

To Cremate or Compost? - Your Will and Funeral Instructions

To Cremate or Compost? - Your Will and Funeral Instructions

Deciding upon what you wish to happen to your body when you die is never an easy thought. What would your family want? Should you be buried? But along with that can often come additional expenditure on top of funeral costs, including purchasing a lair etc. Or should you be cremated and have your ashes scattered in that special place?

Well, now there may be no need to decide between the two if the latest decision emerging from Washington, USA is anything to go by.

Freedom of Information: New Guidance Published for RSLs and their Subsidiaries

Freedom of Information: New Guidance Published for RSLs and their Subsidiaries

The Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) has recently published two sets of guidance on Freedom of Information (FOI), Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and the terms of the Order which brings RSLs under the FOI regime.

The guidance relates to:

RSLs should read the new guidance on Freedom of Information and be aware of the following key points:

  • There will be a two-part test for determining

Property Factors Should We Register?

Property Factors Should We Register?

The Property Factors Scotland Act 2011 required all property factors to register on the newly formed Register of Property Factors. Failure to register is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or even imprisonment! Given the sanctions which exist it is important to be clear who is under an obligation to register. This is still proving a challenge for some entities providing property management services to residential schemes.

The legislation provides a definition of a property factor i.e. a person who, in the course of

The Importance of Reviewing Your Will

The Importance of Reviewing Your Will

If you have a Will in place, it is important to review this on a regular basis to ensure it is up to date with your personal and financial circumstances.

People often think of reviewing matters such as the amount of money to be left to nieces or nephews or who should, in fact, inherit the family heirlooms. However, most don?t think to review who they have appointed as their Executor in their Will. So why is this important?

What is an Executor?

An

Brain Injury Awareness Week

Brain Injury Awareness Week

Brain Injury Awareness Week 2019 is here - #ActionForBrainInjuryWeek #ABIWeek, culminating with #HatsForHeadway on Friday 24th May.

As is often the case, family members can face numerous difficulties as the result of a loved one succumbing to a brain injury - if they no longer have capacity to make decisions for themselves and if the family is not aware of what steps they need to take. Difficulties can arise in relation to medical or financial decisions that need to be made and no-one having

What does Freedom of Information mean for RSL Procurement?

What does Freedom of Information mean for RSL Procurement?

Office equipment; repair services; boilers; stationary and much more are bought by Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) as a matter of course.

Sometimes it's simple for an RSL to buy things, other times it's more complex and subject to public procurement law. No matter what, information about what they are buying will be given to the RSL by the supplier.

Come 11 November 2019 this information will be covered by Freedom of Information (FOI). This will impact not only RSLs, but the people and companies that

Tribunal to Determine Whether Veganism Should Receive the Same Legal Protection as Religion

Tribunal to Determine Whether Veganism Should Receive the Same Legal Protection as Religion

It is fairly well known that the Equality Act 2010 affords protection against discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the basis of religion (or religious beliefs).

Perhaps less well known is that it can also provide protection in relation to certain philosophical beliefs.

To be protected such philosophical beliefs must be more than an opinion or viewpoint ? it must be a genuinely held belief in relation to weighty and substantial part of human life and behaviour. It must also be serious and important, and have

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Dying Matters Awareness Week

No-one likes to contemplate their own death or think of the death of a loved one. It is however an important topic of conversation to have with your family and friends and is encouraged as part of the Dying Matters Awareness Week. Doing this at an early stage allows you to have an unpressured conversation at a time that suits you and not at a time of ill health or crisis.

Conversations of this nature are a prompt to discuss your affairs and the

What are the Duties of a Financial Guardian?

What are the Duties of a Financial Guardian?

Once appointed by the Court to act as Financial Guardian there are certain administrative responsibilities which you will have to fulfill, these are detailed below. By taking on this role you are accepting this responsibility and it is therefore important that you consider if you have the time and ability to carry out the duties of a Financial Guardian.

Caution (pronounced Kay-shun)

The Sheriff may order that you obtain a Bond of Caution (usually within 4 weeks of your date of appointment). A Bond of

When is a 'holiday let' not a 'holiday let'?

When is a 'holiday let' not a 'holiday let'?

Holiday lettings sit outwith the standard regulatory framework of the private rented sector. A holiday let is excluded from constituting a Private Residential Tenancy.

There is no requirement for such landlords to register or pay over a deposit to a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Furthermore, the Repairing Standard does not apply to holiday lets of less than 31 days.

The Scottish Courts considered holiday lets in the case of St. Andrews Forest Lodges Ltd. v Jeremy & Iona Grieve at Dundee. In this case, the Pursuers

Gifting Your Property to Avoid Care Costs

Gifting Your Property to Avoid Care Costs

Many families wish to ensure that their family are provided for in the future. They have worked hard to be able to own their property and do not want their estate to be exhausted by paying care costs. Beware, there are many things to consider before gifting your property to avoid care costs.

  1. Should you require a move to residential care accommodation the local authority can look at assets you had previously, the time of gifting and the reasons for gifting. There is the potential

Care Home Fees - Deferred Payment Schemes

Care Home Fees - Deferred Payment Schemes

Since 2002 deferred payment schemes have been available for care home residents however, many are unaware of their availability.

Care home residents who have insufficient income and capital (excluding the value of their property) to meet care home fees may enter into an agreement with their local authority to defer payment of part of their contribution towards care costs. They can settle these sums with the local authority at a later date when their home is eventually sold. A deferred payment agreement is an agreement

The Search For A Trainee - a view from the other side

The Search For A Trainee - a view from the other side

Trainee recruitment is a part of my job I really enjoy. I love meeting new people and trying to find someone that I think will bring an extra dimension, while assessing whether they will work well alongside the existing team.

Our latest search for a trainee produced nearly 100 applicants. But of that 100, how do we whittle them down?

First of all we decide what our key criteria will be. That will vary each year depending on the priorities we place on certain skills,

Scotland Introduces Free Personal Care For Under-65s

Scotland Introduces Free Personal Care For Under-65s

In September 2001, the Scottish Government introduced legislation to provide free personal care for those who were assessed as requiring it and were over 65. ?Personal care? means care which relates to day to day tasks and the needs of the person cared for (for example, washing, eating etc.).

1st April 2019 sees the introduction of ?Frank?s Law?, which will broaden the availability of free personal care to those under 65. This means that those living with early onset dementia, Parkinson?s Disease,