Purpose and Scope of this Consultation
9. The purpose of this consultation is to seek your views on the operational procedure of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber under Phase II of the Chamber Implementation Project.
10. No fee will be charged for anyone taking a case to the Housing and Property Chamber.
11. Part One seeks views on the draft First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber Rules of Procedure 2017 (the 2017 Rules). We are not seeking views on the implementation of the Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014, the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, the Private Tenancies (Scotland) Act 2016, or any other enactment.
12. Part Two seeks your views on the provision of publicly funded legal assistance in the Housing and Property Chamber.
13. The First-tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber (Procedure) (Scotland) Draft Regulations 2017 (the 2017 Rules) do not provide any new housing powers or rights for tenants, landlords or others taking a case to the First-tier Tribunal. When jurisdictions transfer from the Sheriff Court under the implementation of the 2014 Housing Act, the First-tier Tribunal will be able to make orders equivalent to those made by Sheriff Courts. For example, Sheriffs can make orders to evict tenants and the First-tier Tribunal will be able to do the same. The basis for raising a case and the matters to be taken into account will remain the same.
14. The First-tier Tribunal will not hear cases relating to criminal matters such as illegal eviction. These must remain in the jurisdiction of the courts.
15. The First-tier Tribunal will not hear cases relating to the social rented sector.
16. The Housing Scotland Act 2014 contains an order-making power to transfer cases relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation from the jurisdiction of the Sheriff Court to the First-tier Tribunal. Houses in Multiple Occupation are not included in the Phase II Chamber Implementation Project. This is because the legislation relating to those cases covers issues wider than just the private rented sector, and we need to consider and consult further on the best way forward.
17. It is proposed that a single set of operational rules will apply across all jurisdictions in the Housing and Property Chamber from December 2017.
18. The draft First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber Rules of Procedure 2017 are attached at Annex A.