This day in 1846, astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle became the first person ever to observe the planet Neptune, the existence of which had been mathematically predicted by Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier and John Couch Adams.
On 21 March and 23 September, the Earth’s equator falls exactly opposite to the Sun, making day and night equal. After this, the call of winter begins. The days are short while the nights are long.
September 23, 2021 is the 266th day of the year 2021 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 99 days remaining until the end of the year.
99 days left!!!! I don’t know why that just stopped me, where has 2021 gone !
The September weekend is almost upon us and I am off to Inverness tonight, so the email this week will be a roundup of recent discussions. I know last week I intimated that there would be Energy Performance updates, but that has not been received from the Scottish Government yet, fingers crossed it will be soon, as time is going to quickly.
Landlord feedback and funding
A landlord very kindly sent the link https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2021/08/the-impact-of-covid-19-on-landlords-and-tenants-2021/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=covid_impact_landlords&utm_campaign=cust_tna_sept_2021
Which details how landlords have lost funds due to the pandemic.
There has been aid made available for landlords by the Scottish Government in the private rental sector which is interest free, a loan is not the same as a grant, but it can help if you are in financial hardship due to the pandemic.
SNP and Green coalition
Robin and I were in a webinar with John Blackwood of the Scottish Association of landlords (SAL) in which the conversation went to politics and the changes that landlords have faced and will face if the SNP/Green proposals go forward, which I think will be a separate email on these things.
An interesting article that John Blackwood published in the Herald on the 20th can be found
Analysis of tribunal evictions
New research by SAL has provided interesting data on the outcome and nature of eviction applications made by landlords to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).
The tribunal took over jurisdiction of private rented sector cases from the sheriff courts in 2017. Whilst the majority of court judgements were not published, the tribunal is required to publish their written decisions, allowing for a greater analysis and understanding of cases.
SAL analysed and compared the outcome of eviction applications made to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing & Property Chamber) during the period 1 October 2019 to 18 March 2020 (pre Covid-19 pandemic) and 1 October 2020 to 18 March 2021 (mid pandemic).
18 March 2020 was the last day that face-to-face hearings and case management discussions took place to determine the outcome of tribunal applications before these ceased due to the first Covid19 lockdown. These resumed on 9 July 2020, taking place by teleconference, and continued to operate in this manner through subsequent lockdowns.
From 7 April 2020, landlords serving notice to end tenancies were required to adhere to changes introduced by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act, namely a requirement to give 6 months’ notice for most evictions and all evictions being subject to a reasonableness test at the tribunal.
Number of eviction applications
There was a significant reduction in the number of eviction applications being submitted to the tribunal during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the period of analysis 2019-2020 there were 535 applications compared to just 254 over the same period 2020-2021, a 53% reduction. There are a number of possible explanations for this; landlords and tenants managing to resolve rent arrears situations and other tenancy breaches without resorting to eviction, landlords choosing not to evict during the pandemic, longer notice periods meaning tenants are more likely to leave before the end of the notice period, longer notice periods delaying the point at which landlords can make their application to the tribunal and landlords misunderstanding the “ban” on evictions, thinking that it prevents them from serving notice or submitting tribunal applications.
Outcome of applications
Provided landlords follow the correct procedures, nearly 100% of eviction applications are granted by the tribunal.
Out of 535 eviction applications submitted during the period 2019 to 2020, 398 were granted, 136 were rejected due to the applicant not correctly following tribunal procedure rules or tenancy legislation and just one was refused on the grounds of reasonableness.
Out of 254 applications submitted during the period 2020-21, 176 were granted and 78 were rejected due to the applicant not correctly following tribunal procedure rules or tenancy legislation. No applications were refused on the grounds of reasonableness which is particularly surprising given that all evictions where notice was served on or after 7 April 2020 were subject to a reasonableness test
With the introduction of the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) regime on 1 December 2017, we are seeing a gradual reduction in the number of older tenancies in existence. Over the period of analysis 2019-2020 there was an almost even split between eviction applications for the two main tenancy types (49.3% PRT, 50.3%, Assured/Short Assured and 0.4% Regulated Tenancies). Over the later period 2020-2021 there was a slight increase
Reason for eviction
Where eviction orders were granted by the tribunal over the period of analysis 2019-2020, 59% were for rent arrears. For the same period the following year this had reduced to 33%. The next most common reason for eviction was landlords ending short assured tenancies using the section 33 procedure, commonly known as the “no fault” procedure. This was the reason for eviction in 28% of cases during the period 2019-2020 and 30% of cases in the same period the following year.
Amount of rent owed by tenants being evicted for rent arrears
Pre-pandemic, tenants being evicted for rent arrears owed on average 8.9 months’ rent at the point the tribunal decided to grant an eviction order. For the same period the following year this had risen to 13.3 months’ rent. The number of months rent owed increased by about the same as the notice period for an eviction on the rent arrears grounds had been increased by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act. These very significant amounts of debt not only have a huge financial impact on landlords but also burden tenants with debt which is due for repayment long after the tenancy has ended.
Duration of tribunal proceedings
During the period 2019-2020 it took on average 95 days from the time a landlord applied to the tribunal to the point the tribunal made a decision to grant an eviction order. During the same period the following year this had increased significantly to 134 days. This is likely to be because a number of applications were held up by the cessation of face-to-face hearings and case management discussions over the period 19 March to 8 July 2020. For those applications submitted after 8 July 2020 the average timeframe was 90 days and the quickest case was decided on within 5 weeks of an application being made
(Hemericius inflatus) Dwarf Birdeater – I was going for the inFLATus property link – it’s a spider
With regards to spiders invading homes for their mating season, a fellow landlord sent in “re your tips on spiders. As you said citrus presumably orange would work as well. There is a lovely furniture polish in NZ and OZ made from orange oil. It’s a very good Polish and smells heavenly. I’m presuming you can buy a similar item “there.
Thank you for all the feedback, ideas and links for the landlord emails. The information is coming from the Scottish Government, but not as quickly as we would like to be informed.
Take care, stay safe and have a lovely holiday weekend.
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