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The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (Procedure) Regulations 2016

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Procedure common to proceedings in respect of private rented applications

Application of this Part of the Rules

34.  This Part of the Rules applies to proceedings before the First-tier Tribunal when exercising the functions transferred to it by

(a)regulation 3(1) of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Transfer of Functions of the Private Rented Housing Committees) Regulations 2016(1); or

(b)regulation 3(1) of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Transfer of Functions of the Private Rented Housing Panel) Regulations 2016(2).

Interpretation

35.  In this Part of the Rules—

the Act” means the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006(3);

“the 1984 Act” means the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984(4);

“the 1988 Act” means the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988(5);

“application” means an application under sections 22(1) or (1A)(6) or 28A(7) of the Act;

“assured tenancy” and “short assured tenancy” have the meanings assigned to them respectively by sections 12 and 32 of the 1988 Act and “statutory assured tenancy” has the meaning assigned to it by section 16 of the 1988 Act;

“assured tenancy reference to the First-tier Tribunal” means—

(a)

a reference by a landlord or a tenant under section 17(3) of the 1988 Act of a notice which has been served under section 17(2) of that Act (notice proposing terms of a statutory assured tenancy and, if appropriate, an adjustment of the rent to take account of the proposed terms);

(b)

a reference by a tenant under section 24(3) of the 1988 Act of a notice which has been served under section 24(1) of that Act (notice proposing an increase in rent under an assured tenancy);

(c)

a reference by a tenant under section 25A(4)(a)(8) of the 1988 Act of a notice which has been served on the tenant under section 25A(2) of that Act (notice proposing a new rent to take account of any sums payable by the tenant to the landlord in respect of council tax);

(d)

an application by a tenant under section 34(1) of the 1988 Act (application for a determination of the rent which the landlord might reasonably be expected to obtain under a short assured tenancy);

“dwelling-house” has the meaning given to it by section 17(7) of the 1984 Act;

“house” has the meaning given to it by section 194 of the Act;

“landlord” has the meaning given to it by section 194 of the Act;

“landlord’s duty” means the duty imposed by section 14(1) of the Act;

“the landlord’s right of entry” means the landlord’s right of entry to the house concerned under section 181(4) of the Act;

“living accommodation” has the meaning given to it by section 194 of the Act;

“Part VII contract” means a contract within the meaning of section 63(7) of the 1984 Act which has been referred by a party to the First-tier Tribunal under section 65 or 68 of that Act;

“proceedings” means the proceedings in relation to the making of a decision under section 23(1), 24(1), 25(1) or 26(1) or paragraph 7(2) or (3) of schedule 2 of the Act (including any preliminary issue);

“regulated tenancy reference” means a matter which is referred by a rent officer to the First-tier Tribunal under paragraph 7 or 12 of schedule 5 of the 1984 Act or an application for a certificate of fair rent which is referred by a rent officer to the First-tier Tribunal under paragraph 2 or 6 of schedule 6 of the 1984 Act or a Part VII contract;

“repairing standard enforcement order” means an order made under section 24 of the Act;

“section 14 duty” means the duty imposed by section 14(1) of the Act;

“tenancy” has the meaning given to it by section 194 of the Act;

“tenant” has the meaning given to it by section 194 of the Act; and

“third party applicant” has the meaning given to it by section 22(1A) of the Act.

Service

36.—(1) Where any formal communication requires to be served upon the parties, it shall be deemed to have been served on a party if it is served on a person who is acting as the representative of that party.

(2) A member of staff of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service may send a formal communication on behalf of the First-tier Tribunal.

(3) Any requirement in these Rules for a document to be signed by a person is satisfied, in the case of a document which is transmitted by electronic communication in accordance with these Rules, by electronic signature of the person who is required to sign the document.

Hearing two or more applications together

37.—(1) The First-tier Tribunal may direct two or more applications or an application and an assured or regulated tenancy reference to be heard together where they are under consideration by the First-tier Tribunal at the same time and relate to the same—

(a)property; or

(b)required work.

(2) The First-tier Tribunal may require the parties to take any steps necessary to enable two or more applications to be heard together.

Directions

38.—(1) On its own initiative or on the application of a party, the First-tier Tribunal may give directions to the parties relating to the conduct or progress of an application or an assured or regulated tenancy reference.

(2) The power to give directions is to be exercised subject to other provision in these Rules.

(3) Directions may be given orally or in writing and must be intimated to every party.

(4) Directions of the First-tier Tribunal may, in particular—

(a)relate to any matter concerning the preparation for a hearing;

(b)set time limits for something to be done;

(c)vary any time limit given in a previous direction;

(d)provide for—

(i)a matter to be dealt with as a preliminary issue;

(ii)a party to provide further details of that party’s case, or other information which appears to be necessary for the determination of the application or the assured or regulated tenancy reference;

(iii)witnesses to be heard;

(iv)the manner in which evidence is to be given;

(e)require a party to lodge and serve—

(i)statements of evidence which will be put forward at the hearing;

(ii)a paginated and indexed bundle of all the documents which will be relied on at the hearing;

(iii)a skeleton argument which summarises the submissions which will be made at the hearing and cites all the authorities which will be relied on, clearly identifying particular passages to be relied on;

(iv)a list of witnesses whom a party wishes to call to give evidence.

(5) When making directions the First-tier Tribunal must take into account the ability of parties to comply with the directions.

Evidence

39.—(1) The First-tier Tribunal must allow no less than 5 working days when requiring production of documents or information.

(2) The First-tier Tribunal must not consider written evidence which is lodged or served outwith a time limit it has set unless satisfied that there is good reason to do so.

(3) Where a party seeks to rely on a copy of a document as evidence, the First-tier Tribunal may require the original document to be produced.

(4) The First-tier Tribunal may allow evidence to be heard on any matter the First-tier Tribunal considers to be relevant whether or not this matter has been specified in the written representations.

Withdrawal of applications

40.—(1) An application or an assured or regulated tenancy reference may be withdrawn by the applicant or landlord orally at a hearing or in writing by serving a notice of withdrawal on the landlord or tenant and the First-tier Tribunal.

(2) A notice of withdrawal must be in writing and may be made on a form obtained from the First-tier Tribunal.

Exclusion of persons disrupting proceedings

41.—(1) Without prejudice to any other powers it may have, the First-tier Tribunal may exclude from a hearing, or part of it, a person whose conduct has disrupted the hearing or whose conduct has otherwise interfered with the administration of justice.

(2) In deciding whether to exercise the power conferred by paragraph (1) the First-tier Tribunal must, in particular, have regard to—

(a)the interests of the parties; and

(b)in the case of the exclusion of a party or a representative, whether the party will be adequately represented.

(3) If the First-tier Tribunal decides to exclude a party it must allow that party’s representative sufficient opportunity to consult the party.

(6)

Section 22(1A) was inserted by section 25(1)(a) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 (asp 14).

(7)

Section 28A was inserted by section 35(4) of the Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011 (asp 14).

(8)

section 25A was inserted by S.S.I. 1993/658 and amended by paragraph 16 of schedule 6 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 1).

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