New Forms for use by Landlords and Agents
Many will know that the new First-tier Tribunal: Housing and Property Chamber is due to come into existence on 1st December 2016. The entire functions of the Private Rented Housing Panel will transfer to the First-tier Tribunal from that date and new forms have been published in the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (Procedure) Regulations 2016. In particular, schedule 2 contains the amended forms for use from 1st December 2016. A copy of the schedule can be found using the link below.
Whilst most of the forms are not ones that are commonly used, one of the amended forms is the AT5. This is the documents that landlords must serve on tenants before the creation of a tenancy to ensure that tenancy to follow is a short assured tenancy. In terms of section 32 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 a landlord is required to use the prescribed form for an AT5. As this prescribed form is set to change, care should be taken to ensure that the correct version of the AT5 is used to avoid any arguments that, in failing to do so, a tenancy is not a short assured tenancy.
Whilst there would still be an argument (based on English authorities) that using the old prescribed form still fulfils the statutory purpose of the AT5, it is best to avoid difficulties where possible.
If you wish to find out more about the changes or to discuss how you can get ready for them, please contact Rory Cowan.