The first case of a landlord breaching new tenancy rules in Scotland has resulted with him being issued a ‘Wrongful Termination Order’.
All grounds for eviction in Scotland are now discretionary following a mix of long-term policy changes introduced by the Scottish Government, and shorter term measures introduced because of the Coronavirus crisis.
The landlord and tenant had a difficult relationship and the landlord provided the tenant with a Notice To Leave, stating that the landlord and family wanted to move into and occupy the rental accommodation as their main home.
This was opposed by the tenant arguing that it was not credible that the landlord genuinely wanted to move out of a three bed property and move to a one-room studio. Even so, the First Tier Tribunal in Scotland had agreed to the eviction.
However, the tenant found that the studio was subsequently refurbished and re-let. The former tenant then applied again to the tribunal for a Wrongful Termination Order.
The tribunal concluded that the landlord had misled when the eviction order was granted and determined that the tenant was entitled to the Wrongful Termination Order because of the earlier misleading information, and it awarded the tenant £1,350, equivalent to three times the monthly rent under the original tenancy agreement.
In Scotland there is an eviction ban in that country’s Tier 3 and 4 areas until March 31 - the ban applies to sheriff officers’ enforcement, and there are exceptions as in England and Wales, applying to criminal or antisocial behaviour.
Longer term changes introduced by the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 and subsequent amendments mean tenants have more protection than previously, including no more fixed term tenancies, controls on rent increases, longer notice periods and a new (but not compulsory) model tenancy agreement.