Section 98 – Application for warrant for sale of sole or main residence
295.Section 98(1) applies where the creditor applies for a warrant for sale of attached land which is or includes a dwellinghouse which is the sole or main residence of the debtor, of the owner (if that person is not the debtor) or of any of the persons specified in subsection (2).
296.Those persons are a non-entitled spouse of the debtor or owner, a cohabitee of the debtor or owner, a civil partner of the debtor or owner, a same sex cohabitee of the debtor or owner, and a former partner of the debtor or owner who resides with a child, provided that the child is also a child of the debtor or owner, and that former partner lived with the debtor or owner as husband and wife (or with the characteristics of that relationship) throughout a period of 6 months ending on the day on which the debtor or owner ceased to reside in the dwellinghouse.
297.The sheriff is not prohibited from granting a warrant for sale of a dwellinghouse where this section applies but, before making a decision, the sheriff is obliged by subsection (4) to consider the matters in subsection (5). Those matters are the nature and reasons for the debt secured by the land attachment, the debtor’s ability to pay, any action taken by the creditor to help the debtor in paying the debt and the ability of those living in the property to obtain reasonable alternative accommodation.
298.Subsection (6) allows the Scottish Ministers to modify the matters listed in subsection (5) which the sheriff has to consider. That power is exercisable by regulations subject to affirmative resolution procedure (see section 224(4)(b)(i)).
299.Subsection (7) provides that, where the sheriff grants warrant for sale, the sheriff can suspend the operation of the warrant for a period not exceeding 1 year.
300.Subsection (8) provides that a dwellinghouse may be a sole or main residence even if it is also used by the debtor or other relevant person for the purposes of any profession, trade or business. Subsection (9) defines what is meant by “child”, “dwellinghouse” and “non-entitled spouse”.