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

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Procedure in respect of Assured Tenancy References to the First-tier Tribunal

Assured Tenancy References to the First-tier Tribunal

59.—(1) When an assured tenancy reference is made to the First-tier Tribunal, the First-tier Tribunal shall as soon as practicable thereafter serve on the landlord and the tenant a notice specifying a period of not less than 14 days from the service of the notice during which either representations in writing or a request to make oral representations may be made to the First-tier Tribunal by either party.

(2) Where within the period specified in paragraph (1), or such further period as the First-tier Tribunal may allow, the landlord or the tenant requests to make oral representations, the First-tier Tribunal shall give the landlord or the tenant an opportunity of being heard at a hearing in accordance with rule 60 below.

(3) The First-tier Tribunal may make such inquiries as they think fit and consider information supplied or representations made to them relevant to the matters to be determined by them, but shall give the parties adequate opportunity for considering such information and representations and may hold a hearing whether or not the parties have requested one.

Assured Tenancy Reference Hearings

60.—(1) Where an assured tenancy reference is to be subject to a hearing, the First-tier Tribunal shall appoint a date, time and place for a hearing.

(2) The First-tier Tribunal shall give not less than 10 days’ notice in writing to the landlord and the tenant of the date, time and place so appointed for a hearing.

(3) A hearing shall be in public unless for special reasons the First-tier Tribunal otherwise decides.

(4) At a hearing—

(a)a party may be heard either in person or by a person authorised by him in that behalf, whether or not that person is an advocate or a solicitor;

(b)the parties shall be heard in such order and, subject to the provision of these Rules, the procedure shall be such as the First-tier Tribunal shall determine; and

(c)a party may call witnesses, give evidence on the party’s own behalf and cross-examine any witnesses called by the other party.

(5) The First-tier Tribunal at its discretion may on its own motion, or at the request of the parties or one of them, at any time and from time to time postpone or adjourn a hearing; but it shall not do so at the request of one party only unless, having regard to the grounds upon which and the time at which such request is made and to the convenience of the parties, it deems it reasonable to do so.

(6) The First-tier Tribunal shall give to the parties reasonable notice of the postponed or adjourned hearing.

(7) If a party does not appear at a hearing, the First-tier Tribunal, on being satisfied that the requirements of this rule regarding the giving of notice of a hearing have been duly complied with, may proceed to deal with the reference upon the representations of any party present and upon the documents and information which it may properly consider.

Documents at Assured Tenancy Reference Hearings

61.—(1) Where the assured tenancy reference is to be subject to a hearing, the First-tier Tribunal shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that there is supplied to each of the parties before the date of the hearing—

(a)a copy of, or sufficient extracts from, or particulars of, each document relevant to the reference which has been received from a party (other than a document which is already in the possession of the party or of which the party has previously been supplied with a copy); and

(b)a copy of each document which embodies results of enquiries made by or for the First-tier Tribunal for the purposes of that reference, or which contains relevant information in relation to rents or other tenancy terms previously determined for other houses and which has been prepared for the First-tier Tribunal for the purposes of that reference.

(2) At a hearing where—

(a)a document relevant to the reference is not in the possession of a party present at the hearing; and

(b)that party has not been supplied with a copy of, or relevant extracts from, or particulars of, the document by the First-tier Tribunal in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1) of this rule, then unless—

(i)the party consents to the continuation of the hearing; or

(ii)the First-tier Tribunal consider that the party has a sufficient opportunity of dealing with the document without an adjournment of the hearing,

the First-tier Tribunal shall not consider the document until after it has adjourned the hearing for a period which it considers will afford the party a sufficient opportunity of dealing with the document.

(3) Where a reference is not to be subject to a hearing, the First-tier Tribunal shall supply to each of the parties a copy of, or sufficient extracts from, or particulars of, each such document as is mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) of this rule (other than a document excepted from that paragraph) and a copy of each such document as is mentioned in paragraph (1)(b) of this rule, and it shall not reach its decision until it is satisfied that each party has been given a sufficient opportunity of commenting upon each document of which a copy or from which extracts or of which particulars has or have been so supplied, and upon the other party’s case.

Inspection of house

62.—(1) The First-tier Tribunal may on its own motion and must at the request of one of the parties (subject in either case to any necessary consent being obtained) inspect the house which is the subject of the assured tenancy reference.

(2) An inspection may be made before, during or after the close of the hearing, or at such stage in relation to the consideration of the representations in writing as the First-tier Tribunal shall determine.

(3) The First-tier Tribunal must give in writing sufficient notice of an inspection to the parties.

(4) The parties and the representative of each party are entitled to attend the inspection.

(5) Where an inspection is made after the close of a hearing, the First-tier Tribunal may, if it considers that it is expedient to do so on account of a matter arising from the inspection, re-open the hearing; and if the hearing is to be re-opened, paragraph (2) of rule 60 of these Rules shall apply as it applied to the original hearing, save in so far as its requirements may be dispensed with or relaxed with the consent of the parties.

Decisions

63.—(1) The decision of the First-tier Tribunal upon an assured tenancy reference shall be recorded in a document signed by the chairing member (or, in the event of that person’s absence or incapacity, by another member of the First-tier Tribunal) which shall contain no reference to the decision being a majority (if that be the case) or to the opinion of a minority, if any.

(2) Where the First-tier Tribunal is requested, on or before the giving or notification of the decision, to state the reasons for the decision, those reasons shall be recorded in the said document.

(3) The decision of the First-tier Tribunal and a statement of reasons, if any, are to be made publicly available.

Giving of notices in respect of assured tenancy references, etc.

64.  Where a notice or other written matter is required under the provisions of these Rules in respect of assured tenancy references to the First-tier Tribunal to be served, given or supplied by the First-tier Tribunal to a party or parties, it shall be sufficient compliance with the Rules if the notice or matter is served, given or supplied—

(a)by delivering it to the party or to the party’s agent where a party has appointed an agent to act on the party’s behalf;

(b)by leaving it at the last known address of the party or the party’s agent; or

(c)by sending it by recorded delivery letter to the party or the party’s agent at that address.

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