Have you received a Notice to Leave? Contact us before you go anywhere!
With the introduction of new Private Residential Tenancies comes protection from the historic no fault ground for eviction, giving more security to private renters across the country. This is a big leap forward from landlords being able to end a tenancy after six or more months without any reason and no chance for tenants to challenge this.
Even with this added protection, we still need to spread the word to all renters who receive a Notice to Leave that they don’t need to move out at the end of the notice period stated. Landlords have to make an application to the First Tier Tribunal using one of eighteen grounds for possession, eight of which are discretionary and all of which can be challenged at a tribunal hearing.
Recently, a Living Rent member was in this very situation. The private renter had withheld rent on the basis of outstanding repairs, informing their letting agent KPM Residential via email, that they were withholding part of the rent until each individual repair was completed. Most of these repairs were eventually completed over a period of twelve months. However, a tenant using what is usually a last resort, to force a landlord to meet their legal responsibility, must have irked this particular landlord and he instructed the letting agent to serve a Notice to Leave stating rent arrears as the ground.
When the tenant got in got in touch with Living Rent’s member defence team, we were able to establish that when less than one months’ rent balance is owed for over three months, this is a discretionary ground. For the tribunal to issue an eviction order the landlord would need to convince them that it is reasonable to evict someone for withholding rent whilst living in a property which didn’t meet the Repairing Standard.
The member defence team wrote a letter to KPM pointing out that it was highly unlikely that the tribunal would issue an eviction notice, putting someone at risk of homelessness, under these circumstances. We asked that the landlord withdraw the notice to leave and halt an application to the tribunal.
When KPM passed this info onto the landlord he must have thought again about trying to evict a member of Scotland’s tenants union and withdrew the Notice to Leave as we requested. Not only is this a victory for the tenant who can continue to live in their home without the threat of eviction, this is yet another victory for our member defence team, highlighting the power of being part of the union!
If you want to know more about how you can be part of the member defence team or are having any issues with your private or social landlord don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Living Rent are here to protect tenants across Scotland so if you haven’t already, join us!