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Rent and the Housing and Property Chamber

Tenants can appeal to the Housing and Property Chamber, First Tier for Scotland if they disagree with a rent increase. The Housing and Property Chamber, First Tier for Scotland replaces the Private Rented Housing Panel.

The Housing and Property Chamber

The Housing and Property Chamber has been set up to ensure that private tenants are treated fairly. The chamber is responsible for:

  • setting reasonable rents for properties
  • giving tenants a means of enforcing the repairing standard.

Can I apply to the Housing and Property Chamber?

If you are unhappy with a proposed rent increase, you can apply to the  Housing and Property Chamber to set your rent if you are:

  • a short assured tenant, or
  • an assured tenant, or
  • a Scottish secure tenant with a housing association whose tenancy began after 1989 but before September 2002.

You can appeal to the Housing and Property Chamber if you are unhappy with a rent that has been assessed and set by a Rent Office and you are:

  • a private residential tenancy tenant, or
  • a regulated tenant, or
  • a Scottish secure tenant with a housing association whose tenancy began before 1989.

Before you apply, check local advertisements for rental property to see what other landlords are charging and get advice from a housing adviser. They will be able to tell you whether you have a good claim, or whether you could be in danger of getting your rent increased.

Short assured tenants and the Housing and Property Chamber?

If you are a short assured tenant you can apply to the Housing and Property Chamber, but there are several things to bear in mind:

  • The Housing and Property Chamber will only determine your rent for you if there are enough similar assured or short assured rental properties in your area for them to be able to compare rent levels.
  • A new rent will only be determined if your landlord wants to charge you significantly more than the average rent in your area.
  • Your landlord can evict you fairly easily, so even if the Housing and Property Chamber does determine you a new, lower rent, your landlord may prefer to evict you rather than reduce the amount of rent you pay.

How do I apply to the Housing and Property Chamber?

Assured tenants

Use the following procedures if you are an assured tenant or you were an assured tenant with a housing association whose tenancy converted to a Scottish secure tenancy in September 2002:

  • If your landlord sends you an AT1(L) form notifying you of proposed changes to your tenancy terms and possibly an increase in rent, you should apply using an AT3(T) form.
  • If your landlord sends you an AT2(L) form notifying you of an increase in rent, you should apply to the using an AT4(T) form.

You must do so within three months of receiving the AT1(L) or AT2 notice from your landlord. You can download copies of these forms from the Housing and Property Chamber's website.

Remember, if you're an assured tenant, the chamber can only set a market rent for you once the contractual period of your tenancy is over.

Short assured tenants

Short assured tenants should use an AT4 form to apply.

Regulated tenants and ex-secure tenants

If you are a regulated tenant or were a secure tenant of a housing association whose tenancy was converted to a Scottish secure tenancy in September 2002, you can appeal to the Housing and Property Chamber if you disagree with a rent level set by a rent officer. Read the page on fair rents to find out more about this.

Private residential tenancy tenants

Private residential tenancy tenants should use Form H when applying.

After Applying

Once your application has been received, the clerk will write to you and your landlord to ask whether you would like to have a hearing, or would prefer to send in 'written representations'. If neither of you requests a hearing, you'll be asked to send in written representations.

Your representations will be sent to your landlord and vice versa, and you can then comment in writing on what they've said.

If you are both happy to continue without a hearing, the Housing and Property Chamber will make a decision about your rent based on your written representations.

However, if either you or your landlord requests a hearing, the Housing and Property Chamber will arrange one. You'll be given at least ten days' notice of the hearing.

Housing and Property Chamber hearings

Hearings are open to the public and are fairly informal. You have the right to attend and can be represented by a friend or an adviser.

Before the hearing, prepare what you want to say about the rent. An adviser can help you do this.

The Housing and Property Chamber will look at all the evidence and listen to the arguments of both parties. You or your representative will be given plenty of opportunity to state your case.

The Housing and Property Chamber will then make a decision based on the evidence. There are certain rules that have taken into consideration when setting the rent. For example, they can only look at the details of the property itself, and can't take into account the personal or financial circumstances of you or your landlord. They won't lower the rent simply because you can't afford to pay it.

Things to say at the hearing

When you're preparing to make written representations or speak at the hearing, you should think about a range of things.

  • What do you think the rent should be?
  • Why do you think this? For example, you could look at:
    • the rent levels for other similar properties in the area - check out local 'to let' advertisements to find out what these are
    • the condition of your accommodation
    • the size of the property
    • whether any services are provided by your landlord, such as cleaning
    • what the area you live in is like and whether it is convenient for local amenities or public transport
    • any major repairs or improvements that you or your landlord has carried out.
  • Do you agree with your landlord's reasons for increasing the rent? If not, why not?

How will I find out what the decision is?

The Housing and Property Chamber will send you and your landlord their decision by post. You will also be given a full statement of the reasons for the decision.

When will the new rent take effect?

  • Short assured tenants - the new rent will start on a date specified by the chamber.
  • Assured tenants - the new rent will start on a date specified in the notice issued by the chamber, or, if this will cause you undue hardship, from another date specified by the chamber, up to the date of the decision.
  • Regulated tenants- the new rent will start on the date of the decision, unless your landlord is a housing association, in which case, the rent officer will decide when the new rent will start.

Further rent increases

Once the Housing and Property Chamber has determined your rent level, your landlord will have to wait at least another year before putting your rent up again. If you are a regulated tenant, the rent cannot be increased for three years unless there is a significant change in the condition of the property.

Contact details of the Housing and Property Chamber

Housing and Property Chamber
First tier Tribunal for Scotland
4th floor
1 Atlantic Quay 
45 Robertson Street
Glasgow G2 8JB

Tel: 0141 302 5900

Email: HPCAdmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk

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The important points

  • The Housing and Property Chamber exists to make sure that private tenants are treated fairly regarding rent levels and also repairs.
  • One aspect the Chamber will look at is the rents in your area to decide if the proposed rent increase is legitimate, so check local advertisements and get advice from a housing adviser before you apply.
  • The Chamber will not refuse to approve the rent increase because you can't pay it, they will focus on the property itself.

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

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