Landlord Disputes | McEwan Fraser Legal


Landlord Disputes

What steps can I take to evict a Tenant?

To bring a tenancy to an end the landlord must serve the correct legal notices in accordance with the type of tenancy. Even if the correct legal notices are issued, if the tenant refuses to leave, you will require a tribunal order to remove them. Therefore, it is essential that you instruct a solicitor from the outset. Failure to serve the correct notices at the correct time will lead to extra costs and delay.

Should I use a solicitor to evict a Tenant?

We strongly advise that you use a solicitor to ensure that the correct notices are sent to your tenants at the correct times depending on your tenancy type. Failure to do so could mean that any tribunal application you raise to evict your tenants is incompetent and you have to restart the whole process. The correct advice can avoid that.

Can I still recover outstanding rent during the eviction process?

Outstanding rent arrears are now dealt with separately from eviction and via separate applications. However, it is best practice to lodge both applications together so that we can ask for tribunal hearings to be on the same date. Should the Tribunal grant an order for payment of the rent arrears, we will advise you on the enforcement options available to you to recover your rent arrears as quickly as possible.

How Long will it take to evict a Tenant?

This all depends upon whether the tenant defends the tribunal action. When a landlord raises tribunal application to evict a tenant, the tribunal always sets a hearing. Regardless of whether your tenant has failed to pay rent or damaged your property, the tribunal has a discretion in most cases to only grant an eviction when “reasonable”. We can attend the tribunal on your behalf and address the tribunal as to why the tenant should be evicted. Failure to address the tribunal correctly could mean that the eviction is delayed.

Do I need a valid reason to evict a Tenant?

The laws sets out the grounds to remove a tenant, some of these allow for automatic removal of the tenant and others the tribunal has a discretion whether to grant the eviction. The correct legal advice is essential to ensure that you seek eviction under the correct legal grounds to ensure the best outcome.

Can I make a claim against a Tenant for damage to my property?

Yes, the appropriate action is to offset the damage from the tenant’s deposit via the Landlord Deposit Scheme. If the deposit is insufficient to cover the cost of repair to your property, we can raise a separate court action against the tenant.

Do I need a Solicitor to draft a Lease?

We would recommend that you have a solicitor draft the Lease to ensure that it is legally enforceable, has the terms in place to allow you to recover your property quickly and the correct notices are served at the start. We can also advise you on registering as a Landlord. Please be aware that failure to register as a Landlord can result in a fine up to £50,000, a ban from being registered for up to 5 years or you being served with a notice stating that rent will not be payable on your property for a certain period.

What if I did not place the deposit into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

If you fail to place the deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme, the tenant can take you to court and the court may sanction you up to 3 times the monthly rental. The courts only deal with sanctioning you and do not generally take into account the conduct of the tenant or any damage caused by the tenant. If you have not placed the deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme, you should contact us immediately for legal advice.

What will the new Scottish Private Residential Tenancies mean for Landlords and Tenants?

The landscape of tenancies in Scotland changed on the 1st December 2017 when the Private Housing (Tenancies) Scotland Act 2016 came into force. The new tenancy will be called a Scottish Private Residential Tenancy (“SPRT”) and replaces the most common types of residential tenancies in Scotland, Short Assured and Assured Tenancies.

  • There will be no minimum period of let and no pre-tenancy notices like an AT5.
  • Tenancies will continue indefinitely unless the Tenant wants to leave or the Landlord has a prescribed ground for eviction. One new and important ground for eviction is that the Landlord wants to sell the property.
  • Many student tenancies will fall within the new regime
  • Rents can be reviewed once a year.
  • Local Authorities can apply to designate areas as rent pressure zones to limit the increase in existing rents. This will not affect initial rents but could act to limit any annual increases thereafter.

Summary

Please contact Sarah Jordan or Jamie Miller on 0131 524 9797 to discuss or arrange a no obligation meeting.