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First Tier Tribunal for Scotland

The Housing and Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland is there to help tenants if their accommodation is not up to a certain standard.

From 1 December 2016 First Tier Tribunal for Scotland, Housing and Property Chamber replaced the private rented housing panel.

How can the Housing and Property Chamber help?

The Housing and Property Chamber provides tenants with an effective way of making sure their landlord complies with the repairing standard.

The page on responsibility for repairs explains the repairing standard.

Who can apply?

You can apply to the Housing and Property Chamber if your home doesn't reach the repairing standard and you have:

If you have any other type of tenancy you won't be able to apply. If you're unsure about what type of tenancy you have, use the tenancy checker.

Third party applications

If a property does not meet the repairing standard, then your council will be able to apply to the Housing and Property Chamber. This application can be done with or without your consent.

Councils will have to follow the same procedure as tenants before applying.

Making an application

Before you apply make sure you have asked your landlord to carry out the repairs. The tribunal won't look at your application otherwise.

To apply, fill in the application Form A. The form comes with guidance explaining what you need to do to apply.

Include evidence with your application

Along with your application you should also send:

  • a copy of your lease, tenancy agreement or rent book - if you don't have these write down as much information about the tenancy as you can, eg when it started, when it's due to end and how your rent is.
  • copies of letters or emails sent between you and your landlord about the repairs - using recorded delivery will help you prove your landlord knows about the repair.

Post your completed application form along with any evidence to:

Housing and Property Chamber, First-tier Tribunal for Scotland 
Glasgow Tribunals Centre 
20 York St
Glasgow
G2 8GT

After you've applied

The tribunal will let you know when they receive your application and you'll receive a case number. If you don't hear from them within two weeks,

The tribunal will decide whether to accept your application. They'll write to you to let you know their decision within 14 days. Sometimes, you may be asked you to supply more information before a decision is made.

If something else in your home breaks or needs repaired during the application process, and your landlord refuses to fix this too, you can make another application or amend your existing application. You don't need to wait until your first application has been considered. Notify the tribunal in writing as soon as possible and they will tell you what to do.

Using mediation

If the tribunal thinks the problem could be resolved with a bit of help, they'll refer you to their mediation service. This is likely to be a lot quicker and less stressful than going through the full official process. Both you and your landlord need to agree to use the mediation service.

The mediator will speak to you and your landlord separately, and then, if they believe your problem can be sorted out this way, they will bring you together to discuss a solution. If you reach a satisfactory agreement, this will be put down in writing.

If either you or your landlord refuses to have mediation, or if you're not able to resolve the problem with the help of a mediator, your claim will be passed back to the tribunal for consideration.

Can my application be rejected?

Your application might be turned down if:

  • there are insufficient grounds for your application, or it's done purely to annoy your landlord
  • you've made a similar application recently and haven't allowed enough time for the problem to be sorted out
  • the problem has now been resolved
  • they think the problem can be solved through mediation (see 'using mediation' below).

The tribunal will send you a letter giving their reasons for turning your application down and explaining how you can appeal.

What happens if my application is accepted?

If the tribunal decides to hold a hearing, you'll be a sent a notice telling you where and when it is. You and your landlord will be asked to provide further details about the disrepair problem, either in writing or in person, at a hearing, depending on how complicated the situation is.

If two or more tenants have complained about the same landlord, the tribunal may decide to hear your cases together.

What are written representations?

Written representations can include:

  • an outline of the things you intend to say at the hearing
  • copies of documents you want to use as evidence (for example, letters or emails you've sent to your landlord, or a letter from your doctor if the disrepair is affecting your health)
  • a list of witnesses you want to call to support your case.

You'll be given at least 10 working days to do this. If you don't produce the evidence within this time limit, the tribunal may not take it into account when considering your case, although they may do if you have a good reason for missing the deadline, for example, because you were in hospital.

Can I change my written representations?

You can write to the tribunal to amend your written representations up to five working days before the hearing. For example, you may want to do this if the disrepair has got worse, or has started to make you ill.

If you want to change your written representations because a new disrepair problem has come up, you may have to make a new, separate application. This will be up to the tribunal to decide.

What if I don't provide the information I'm asked for?

You can be fined if you don't provide the information requested by the tribunal, or if you knowingly provide false information. Therefore it's very important to send in everything you're asked to, and to make sure you tell the truth about your situation.

Will the tribunal need to visit my home?

In most cases, the tribunal will also need to inspect your home, to see what work needs to be done. This will probably take place on the same day as the hearing. You and your landlord will be told in advance when the inspection will be, and you can both attend.

Will I have to attend a hearing?

In some cases, you may be required to attend the hearing. If this is the case, you will be served with a notice that makes this clear. If you don't turn up, you could be fined. If it's impossible for you to attend on that day, contact the tribunal to see if it's possible to postpone the hearing.

You may be able to claim reasonable travel expenses for attending the hearing, so make sure you keep any tickets or receipts.

Before the hearing, you'll need to prepare what you want to say about the repair problem.

Can I ask someone else to represent me at the hearing?

If you don't feel confident speaking for yourself, you can ask an adviser or friend to represent you at the hearing. In this case, let the tribunal know in writing. If the person then decides they can't represent you, or if you get a new representative, you should let the tribunal know this too.

Bear in mind that:

  • the tribunal can refuse to let someone represent you if they have a good reason for this (for example, because your representative has caused trouble at previous hearings)
  • even if you win, you will not be able to reclaim any money you have paid to your representative in return for their services.

What happens at the hearing?

Hearings are usually open to the public. If you have a particular reason for wanting a private hearing, you should request this in writing explaining why.

The hearing process may seem a bit intimidating, but remember, you are not on trial. The chairperson will explain to you what will happen and will ensure that you are treated politely and fairly.

The tribunal will look at all the evidence and listen to what you or your representative and your landlord or their representative has to say. When you're asked to speak, make sure you stay calm and stick to the facts . Don't be abusive about your landlord, even if you're very angry with them. When other people are speaking, don't interrupt, even if you don't agree with what they're saying - you (or your representative) will be given plenty of opportunity to state your case. Remember, if you are disruptive, the tribunal can make you leave the hearing and will carry on in your absence.

You'll be able to call witnesses (for example, other tenants living in your building) to help you back up your story and you'll have a chance to question any witnesses your landlord calls as well.

What can the tribunal decide?

The PRHC can decide that either:

  • your landlord has failed to comply with their duty to meet the repairing standard, or
  • your landlord has not failed to comply with their duty to meet the repairing standard, or
  • your landlord has failed to comply with their duty to meet the repairing standard, but lacks the necessary rights (of access or otherwise) to carry out the work required.

How will I know what the tribunal decide?

The tribunal won't give you a decision on the day, but will send out a letter to:

  • you
  • your landlord
  • anyone who may be representing you
  • the council.

The tribunal must send you:

  • a full statement of the facts and the reasons for their decision
  • information about the appeal procedure (see 'how do I appeal' below)
  • the date from which the decision and any orders related to the decision have effect.

What will the tribunal do if my home doesn't reach the repairing standard?

If the tribunal decides that your landlord has failed in their duty, they will issue a 'repairing standard enforcement order' (RSEO) ordering them to repair the problem.

Can my landlord evict me while this is going on?

Depending upon the type of tenancy you have, your landlord may be able to end your tenancy if you apply to the tribunal provided they follow the correct procedures. However, your landlord will not be able to take on any new tenants while the repairing standard enforcement order is in force. If they do, they could be fined.

How do I appeal?

You have a right to appeal if:

  • the tribunal decides not to hear your case
  • the tribunal decides that your landlord has complied with their duty to maintain the repairing standard, and takes no further action
  • the tribunal decides to revoke or change an RSEO (for example, if they give your landlord more time to do the repairs)
  • the tribunal decides that your landlord has carried out the necessary repairs, but you don't think they've done the work properly
  • the tribunal decides not to grant you a rent relief order, or revokes the order before the work is finished.

You have to appeal within a set time limit - this is 30 days from the date on which you were notified of the decision you're unhappy about.

Withdrawing an application

You can withdraw your application at any time in writing. You can also withdraw your application in person at the hearing. The tribunal will also consider your application to be withdrawn if your tenancy is lawfully ended. For example, if you decide to move out or your landlord evicts you using the proper legal procedures.

However, the tribunal may decide to continue with the case anyway even if the application is withdrawn. This could happen if, for example, the tribunal feels that the disrepair in question is affecting other tenants who rent from your landlord.

Contacting the Housing and Property Chamber

The contact details for the Housing and Property Chamber office are:

Housing and Property Chamber, First-tier Tribunal for Scotland 
Glasgow Tribunals Centre 
20 York St
Glasgow
G2 8GT 

Tel: 0141 302 5900
Fax: 0141 302 5901

Email: HPCadmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
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