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Landlord services and Eviction – What you should know

As every landlord understands the ideal relationship with tenants includes clear communication and timeous action on both sides to maintain the satisfaction of all parties. However, should one party deviate, that relationship can become strained. Fortunately both parties are protected by legislation designed to ensure that their interests are protected, but this legislation may be set to change and landlords should be aware of what that means.

The Housing Scotland Act 1988 is designed to protect both tenant and landlord, however, accusations of what have been named revenge evictions mean that the law around short assured tenancies could change. In these incidences the relationship has broken down when tenants have requested what they deem reasonable repairs and in response have been served eviction notices from their landlord, wrongfully using the ‘no-fault’ ground for repossession.

This problem has been created by a minority number of unscrupulous landlords but has driven parliaments across Britain to take notice. Liberal Democrat, Sarah Teather MP put forward a Private Members Bill targeting legislation in England to stop the unlawful use of eviction notices. Currently, Teather argues, tenants do not report issues for fear that they will be forced to leave by landlords avoiding repairs. She adds that this in turn results in properties being returned to landlords with unaddressed issues which have unnecessarily worsened having gone unreported. First read in July 2014 the Bill will be heard, and most likely debated, later this month.

In Scotland the issue has provoked public consultation which The Scottish Government closed on 28th December 2014. Their proposal includes removing the landlords right to end a property rental at the expiry of the fixed term without having to use grounds for possession as well as increased notice periods and could be the biggest change to Scottish rental market in twenty-five years.

At Cairn our industry experience leads us to strongly agree that revenge evictions make up only a small number of cases. As an agency, we and our landlords meet entirely with legislation and have never issued notices without reason so do not perceive that this change will affect our landlords.  We are sure that the changes to longer term leases will affect every landlord and are keen for the government to issue more information and guidelines around these changes so that we can understand the implications and plan for them.

Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action has worked with landlords for twenty-five years. He is concerned that revenge evictions make up only a small number of cases and he fears that those landlords lawfully using legislation will be unfairly penalised by changes to legislation. Mr Shamplina discussed The Bill which targets England but the scrutiny of eviction notices is as relevant for Scottish landlords.

The focus of Mr Shamplina’s concern is the lack of staff available to monitor what are often complex and varied cases in need of individual attention. Evictions happen for a variety of reasons and the difficulties identifying lawful from wrongful eviction are similarly varied. While a landlord has a duty to provide tenants debate arises over the appropriate timescale for repairs, which elements are the responsibility of each party and access to the property to carry out repairs.

The suggestion of the Scottish consultation includes a removal of the ‘no-fault’ ground for repossession for short assured tenancies whereas Paul Shamplina would like to see the naming and shaming of the minority of rogue landlords with bans from involvement in property rental for repeat offenders.


While we await the outcome of the Scottish Government’s consultation taking responsibility for your property and understanding what the legislation means is the surest way to avoid issues and that is where we can help. At Cairn we strongly believe investment in Staff Training is key to keeping our staff and customers up to date with current legislation and the effect that this has on their responsibilities. We are members of Scottish Association of Landlords and Landlord Association Scotland which provide lawyer support from TC Young and we attend all conferences and training events to ensure we are completely up to date with legislation to allow us to keep our landlords fully up to speed.

In Scotland the law in place to protect both tenants and landlords is Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. Protect yourself as a landlord and maintain the rights of your tenants by understanding the process and the Scottish legislation.

If you found reading this blog post useful and would like to read other content like it, please visit the Cairn website which which we regularly update with industry related content alongside information on all the services available at Cairn.

You can also get in touch with us via email, or by calling us on: 0141 270 7878. Finally you’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn where we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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