Latest News

Winter weather precautions

20 January 2021

Propertymark Industry Supplier, Gallagher offers practical steps that can help agents and their clients reduce the risk of damage to property as areas of the nation are set to see further warnings of more inclement weather to come. Damage caused by the escape of water from frozen pipes and other equipment can be extremely costly in repairs and disruption. Read More...

Concerns raised over new energy efficiency proposals

20 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on Improving the Energy Performance of Privately Rented Homes in England and Wales by highlighting a number of concerns. These relate to affordability and the need to look beyond a one-size fits all policy and develop proposals that work with the different age, condition, and size of properties in the private rented sector. Read More...

Change smoke and carbon rules for earlier checks

19 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on extending the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations in England, arguing that the rules should be amended so that landlords and agents must make sure the alarms are tested prior to the start of the tenancy and not on the first day of each new tenancy. Read More...

Licensing schemes are irresponsible in the current climate

19 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to a number of licensing scheme proposals from local authorities across England in recent months arguing that Councils who are pursuing the implementation of licensing schemes are being socially irresponsible. This is because in these unprecedented times landlords and agents are not able to comply with the requirements and Council resources are unlikely to be able to effectively enforce them. Read More...

The Letting Partnership commend agents on the crucial service they provide

19 January 2021

Propertymark Industry Supplier, The Letting Partnership, a specialist provider of client accounting and Client Money Protection services, outlines why letting agents should stand proud as we begin 2021and take stock of the vital role they perform during the challenges presented by the pandemic. Read More...

First ever Wrongful Termination Order granted

18 January 2021

A landlord has been penalised for evicting a tenant on wrongful grounds by the Housing & Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (FTS) by awarding its first Wrongful Termination Order. Read More...

Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill – impact on the private rented sector

Thursday 02 April 2020

Following the passing of the Coronavirus Act 2020 by the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament has introduced and passed its own emergency legislation to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak.

The emergency powers introduced adjust the law on evictions and notice periods for the majority of repossession grounds across the private and social rented sectors.

The law will have significant impact on any attempts to recover possession of a property let under various tenures including Private Residential Tenancies (PRTs) and any remaining Short-assured (SATs) and Assured tenancies. It also affects older types of tenancies.

The changes are implemented by two main changes in the underlying legislation:

MANDATORY GROUNDS OR BASIS FOR EVICTION/POSSESSION

Whether it be Private Residential Tenancies, Assured Tenancies or Short Assured Tenancies all grounds for possession during the period the legislation is in force will be discretionary and as such, not only will landlords have to establish the ground exists, but they will also have to establish that the granting of an eviction or possession order is reasonable in the particular circumstances.

The Grounds are still established in the same way, so for example with PRTs and rent arrears (Ground 12) is still established by three months of consecutive arrears, but under the Bill, irrespective of the level of the arrears, Ground 12 will be discretionary.

This also applies to Short Assured Tenancies where the basis for possession is under section 33, which is/was the landlord's automatic right to recover possession at the end of a short-assured tenancy – often referred to as the 'no-fault' ground. This will be discretionary.

INCREASED NOTICE PERIODS

For Private Residential Tenancies, instead of the current two notice periods of 28 and 84 days, there is now three different periods:

  • 28 days - Ground 10 (where the tenant is no longer occupying the property).
  • 3 months -  Ground 4 (landlord wants to live in the property), Ground 5 (family member of landlord wants to live in the property), ground 13 (criminal behaviour of tenant), Ground 14 (antisocial behaviour by tenant), Ground 15 (association with someone guilty of criminal behaviour or anti-social behaviour), Ground 16 (landlord ceased to be registered) and Ground 17 (HMO licence revoked).
  • 6 months - Grounds 1 (landlord wants to sell), Grounds 2 (lender wants to sell), Ground 3 (refurbishment), Ground 6 (change of use), Ground 7 (required for religious purposes), Ground 8 (no longer employee of landlord), Ground 9 (supported accommodation), Ground 11 (breach of tenancy), Ground 12 (rent arrears) and Ground 18 (overcrowding notice).

 

Assured Tenancies or Short Assured Tenancies - instead of the current two notice periods there are now three:

  • 2 months - Ground 9 (alternative accommodation).
  • 3 months - Ground 1 (landlord wants to live in the property) and Ground 15 (anti-social behaviour).
  • 6 months - Grounds 2 to 8 with Ground 8 being the former mandatory rent arrears ground of three months or more rent arrears. Grounds 10 to 14 which includes the two other rent arrears grounds and where a tenant gives notice to quit and then doesn’t remove. As well as grounds 16 (condition of the furniture deteriorated) and 17 (no longer employee of landlord).

 

A six-month notice period will also apply to any notices issued to terminate a Short Assured Tenancies under section 33 (recovery of possession on termination of a Short Assured Tenancy) rather than the current two months.

The Bill does not amend the prescribed notices.

Measures

The measures introduced by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill are limited to the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak with most of the measures expiring on 30 September 2020, six months after they come into force. However, these may be extended for two further periods of six months, meaning that the measures in the Bill could be in force for a maximum of 18 months.

Royal Assent

As soon as the Bill receives Royal Assent, it will become law.

Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill

PROPERTYMARK WEBINAR

Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark's Strategic Development Manager will provide an update for agents in Scotland on the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill and any other issues affecting agents in Scotland. The webinar will take place on 8 April.  

Register