Tenant protection: repossession orders
179.Section 153 amends section 16 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 to provide landlords with discretion to retain tenants in their existing tenancies where agreement has been reached about payment of rent arrears after a court has granted a decree for eviction.
180.By requiring the court to set a second date after which the decree can no longer be relied upon to evict the tenant, section 16(5A) as inserted by section 153 creates a period during which the landlord can either exercise the right to terminate the tenancy and evict the tenant, or simply allow the decree to lapse and the existing tenancy to continue. (The possibility of carrying out a ‘technical eviction’ whereby the existing tenancy is terminated and a new tenancy begun will also continue to exist, should the landlord wish to use that option).
181.Subsection (5A)(a) provides that section 16(5)(a), which requires termination of a tenancy in all cases on the date set by the court for recovery of possession, does not apply in cases where rent arrears is one of the grounds for eviction. The tenancy is terminated only if the landlord actually recovers possession of the house. Under subsection (5A)(c), the court order must specify the period for which the landlord’s right to recover possession is to have effect. The Scottish Ministers have a power to prescribe the maximum period and to issue guidance about recovery of possession under the court order, which landlords must have regard to under subsection (5A)(d). Scottish Ministers are required to consult the interested parties specified in subsection (5B) before making an order or issuing guidance.