The First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber
1. The Housing and Property Chamber aims to deliver benefits of specialism, consistency, and improved access to justice for both tenants and landlords in the private rented sector.
2. The First-tier Tribunal is a judicial decision-maker and, as such, will need to allow sufficient time for each case to ensure proper access to justice.
3. The Housing and Property Chamber enables a less adversarial approach in comparison to the Sheriff Court. The aim is for a system that will allow most people to engage directly with the First-tier Tribunal, and where legal representation is not the norm.
4. It is proposed that a single set of operational rules will apply across all jurisdictions in the Housing and Property Chamber from December 2017. This aims to streamline the existing procedures and provide consistency of approach across the Chamber where relevant and practical.
The Housing and Property Chamber Implementation Project
5. Phase I of the Project transferred the existing functions and members of the Private Rented Housing Panel and Homeowner Housing Panel and associated committees to the First-tier Tribunal on 1 December 2016. First decisions in relation to these jurisdictions are now heard in the First-tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber with a general onward appeal to the Upper Tribunal for Scotland.
6. Phase II of the Project enables the First-tier Tribunal to start to hear more private rented sector housing cases including cases to be transferred from the Sheriff Court, the new letting agent regime and new tenancies.
7. The transfer of jurisdictions from the Sheriff Court and introduction of the new tenancies will be effective from December 2017.
8. The First-tier Tribunal will start to hear cases relating to the new letting agent regime when all aspects of its regulation come into force in January 2018.