Management control orders
If a private landlord does not take steps to prevent antisocial behaviour in their properties, the council can apply for a management control order and take over the running of the property. This means the council will be responsible for collecting rent, carrying out repairs and other landlord responsibilities.
What is a management control order?
A management control order (MCO) is an order granted by the sheriff court that gives the council the power to take over the running of a privately rented property for up to 12 months. This allows the council to deal with the antisocial behaviour directly.
The council may delegate the management of the property to someone else, for example, a housing association or a private sector agent.
This is a fairly new system and it's not clear exactly how it will work in practice but your local council will be able to give you more information for your area.
When can the council get a management control order?
The council can apply to the sheriff court for a management control order if:
the landlord does not carry out the terms of an antisocial behaviour notice (ASBN), and
the order is necessary to stop the antisocial behaviour in question.
It's up to the court to decide whether to grant a MCO or not, and it will make decision based on the circumstances. It's likely that MCOs will only be used as a last resort.
How long will the order last?
An MCO itself will specify how long it lasts for, but it can't be more than 12 months.
The order can be cancelled (or 'revoked') before it is due to run out if:
the landlord has carried out the terms of the antisocial behaviour notice, or
the court decides that the management control order is unreasonable in the circumstances.
My landlord's been given an MCO - how will this affect me?
If the council takes over responsibility for managing your home, this won't affect the type of tenancy you have. So, for example, if you are currently a short assured tenant, you won't suddenly become a Scottish secure tenant, with different rights.
Repairs and maintenance
The council will be responsible for maintaining the property, so if anything goes wrong (for example, if the heating breaks down or a pipe bursts) you should contact the council to get it put right. Your landlord will still be paying for any repairs and maintenance, so it's unlikely the council will arrange for any improvements to be carried out (for example, a new shower or kitchen units) but the council must make sure that your home reaches a decent standard.
Rent and housing benefit
You will still have to pay rent (and any other payments due) when the MCO is in force but you will have to pay it to the council instead of the landlord. If you don't pay your rent, the council can take reasonable steps to get it from you.
If you get housing benefit, the council will arrange for the money to go to its housing department instead of to your landlord.
What will the council do about the antisocial behaviour?
The main reason the council takes over a home is to deal with the antisocial behaviour problem in that property. It may do this by:
arranging for help and support for the person or people causing problems, for example, from social work
agreeing an acceptable behaviour contract (ABC) with the person or people who are behaving antisocially
applying for an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) for the people causing problems
in extreme cases, taking action to evict the tenants.
Can I be evicted?
You can't be evicted just because a management control order has been put in place but you can be evicted for antisocial behaviour. Therefore it's important to do everything you can to cooperate with the council to sort out the antisocial behaviour problem.
Last updated: 29 December 2014