These FAQ's will be made available in printable format as a Brief Guide on Eviction and civil proceedings applications. Please visit the eviction and civil proceedings forms page to download the relevant application form.
Where can I get advice?
Please note that staff in the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service cannot give you legal advice on your situation, although they can explain and help you to understand the Tribunal procedure that an application will follow.
If you wish legal advice that is available from a solicitor, and a list of solicitors is available on the Law Society of Scotland website. Legal Advice relating to housing issues may also be available from Shelter, Citizens Advice Scotland, or a University Law Clinic. Citizen’s Advice Scotland also provide advice relating to benefits, debt and money matters. The websites for these and other organisations are available from our Links page
How do I apply to the Tribunal?
The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (Procedure) Regulations 2017 (“the Tribunal Rules”) list every specific type of application that can be made to the Tribunal. We have guidance on our website that lists all these application types, and each one links to the appropriate application form.
The forms themselves come with detailed notes that explain what information is required when submitting an application.
If the type of application you wish to make is not listed on our website or in the Tribunal Rules, then it may be that your application would come under one of the three “civil proceedings” Rules, whereby any non-criminal matter arising out of a tenancy that does not have its own specific Rule can be the subject of a more general application to the Tribunal. You may wish to seek legal advice on the matter if you cannot locate the application type you wish to make, to ensure that the Tribunal is the appropriate place to make the application.
Can I submit more than one application at the same time?
In some circumstances, you may have more than one application that you wish to submit to the Tribunal. You can make multiple applications to the Tribunal, however you must ensure that for each application you wish to make you supply all the evidence required, even if this means you may be providing the same document twice. We cannot copy items from one application to another, and we cannot make a decision on what document should go with what application. Therefore, if you are making more than one application, you should ensure there is proper separation of the documents for each application.
If submitting by post, this could mean using a paper clip or folder to group each application with its associated supporting documents.
If you are sending applications by email, you should send a single email for each application you are making, that contains only the relevant application form, and all the required attachments for that application. Do not send one email that contains documents for multiple applications.
If the file size of the attachments exceeds our receipt limit and you have to send more than one email for any individual application, please include a note in the subject line of how many emails are being sent and identify each individual email by number. For example, if you are sending 3 emails they should all have the same subject line, and you should include at the end of the subject line the following text:
for the first email: “(email 1 of 3)”
for the second email: “(email 2 of 3)”
for the final email: “(email 3 of 3)”
This will allow the caseworker to correctly group the application and relevant attachments.
What happens where there are multiple joint tenants/landlords in an application?
The rules regarding submitting an application where there are multiple joint parties vary according to the primary legislation which applies to the application that is being made. You should seek legal advice if you are unsure of the position, however please note that it may be required for all landlords or all tenants to submit the application together. Similarly, there may be a requirement that the application should include all respondents. For example, it may not be valid to submit an application by a single landlord where there are multiple joint landlords, or to submit an application to evict a single tenant where there are multiple tenants and the landlord is seeking vacant possession of the property.
I want to make a counter-claim in an action against me – how do I go about doing this?
The counter-claim is an action that is associated with court proceedings, but this is not catered for by the Tribunal Rules. You can at any time make an application in terms of the claim you wish to make, and where it is appropriate the tribunal may direct the new application to be heard at the same time as the original claim by the other party.
Is there a cost for this service?
Applying to the Tribunal is free of charge. If an Order is made that requires execution, the party who was granted the Order would incur a cost to engage Sheriff Officers to carry out the execution. The Tribunal does not carry out the execution of any Orders they make.
Does the Tribunal award expenses at the end of an application?
The Tribunal has the power to award expenses against a party, but only where that party through unreasonable behaviour in the conduct of the case has put any other party to unnecessary or unreasonable expense. Exercise of this power is not linked to the outcome of the case and is not an automatic award.
Parties should be aware that if they instruct an agent to act on their behalf in a case, the expenses incurred for the duration of the case cannot be recovered from the other party on the basis that they are successful in pursuing or defending the application. Only where the party has incurred unnecessary or unreasonable expense, caused by the unreasonable behaviour of the other party in the conduct of the case, could an application for expenses be submitted.
It is at the tribunal’s discretion whether an award should be made. If they decide to award expenses against the party, the amount of the expenses awarded would be the amount to cover the unnecessary or unreasonable expense incurred by the party in whose favour the order for expenses is made. If an award of expenses is granted by the Tribunal, it will be assessed by the Auditor of the Court of Session.
What happens when an application is received?
Once an application is received, it will be assessed to check that the form is correctly completed and that the required attachments are present. If something is missing the Chamber President, or another member of the First-tier Tribunal under the delegated powers of the Chamber President, will request this from the applicant through the administration and the application will not be accepted until all the required information and attachments are provided.
If the required information is not provided, the application will not be accepted by the Chamber President or the member with delegated powers, and the case will be closed. The applicant will be advised of this by the administration, and informed that they may submit a fresh application when they have all the required information and documents.
Where the further information requested is sent within the timescale, the application is deemed to have been made on the date the last of the required information is received.
Complete applications will be passed to the Chamber President or the member with delegated powers, who will consider the application.
Can the President reject an application?
The Chamber President or another member of the First-tier Tribunal, under the delegated powers of the Chamber President, must decide whether the application can be referred to a tribunal or whether it should be rejected. They must reject the application if:
(a) they consider that the application is frivolous or vexatious;
(b) the dispute to which the application relates has been resolved;
(c) they have good reason to believe that it would not be appropriate to accept the application;
(d) they consider that the application is being made for a purpose other than a purpose specified in the application; or
(e) the applicant has previously made an identical or substantially similar application and in the opinion of the Chamber President or another member of the First-tier Tribunal, under the delegated powers of the Chamber President, there has been no significant change in any material considerations since the identical or substantially similar application was determined
A decision to reject an application is appealable, unless the application type is one that is excluded from appeal, either by primary legislation or within the Tribunal Rules.
Can a dispute be resolved informally through the Housing and Property Chamber?
There is no in-house mediation service offered by the Chamber. However, in cases identified by the Chamber President as suitable for mediation, the First-tier Tribunal must:
(a) bring to the attention of the parties the availability of mediation at any point in the proceedings as an alternative procedure for the resolution of the dispute;
(b) provide information explaining what mediation involves; and
(c) if the parties consent to mediation, adjourn or postpone the hearing in accordance with rule 28 to enable the parties to access mediation.
In such cases, parties may be invited to consider mediation as a way of resolving the dispute.
It will be for the parties to access mediation and the responsibility on the Tribunal is to bring to the attention of parties the availability of mediation in suitable cases and provide information explaining the mediation process. The section below on “Finding a Mediator” will be helpful if a party wishes to try mediation. The Tribunal cannot offer validation or recommendation of any particular mediator nor refer parties to a mediator.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a flexible process that can be used to settle disputes in a whole range of situations. Mediation involves an independent third party, the mediator, who helps people to agree a solution when there is a disagreement. The mediator helps parties work out what their issues and options are, then use those options to work out an agreement.
With the help of the mediator, the parties with the dispute decide whether they can resolve the issues and what the solution should be. The mediator does not take sides or make judgements. The mediator will ensure that both parties get a chance to state their case, hear the other side, work through the issues that are important to them and make an agreement. Parties in mediation are in control of the solution.
Mediation is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing. If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still follow formal procedures such as grievances and complaints or go to a tribunal or court, if appropriate. The details of what went on in the mediation will not usually be disclosed or used at a tribunal or a court hearing.
If you are willing to engage in mediation, then you need to approach a mediator as soon as possible. Please see the section below entitled “Finding a Mediator”. Some mediation services are free and Scottish Mediation will be able to provide information.
The mediation proceeds at the same time as the application proceeds through the Tribunal process. This means that by trying mediation, the parties do not delay the progress of the Tribunal case.
If consent to mediation is obtained from both parties and mediation is to take place, you will still need to respond to requests for information or requests for written submissions sent to you by the Tribunal. You may have been given a date by the Tribunal for a hearing or case management discussion and the case will still proceed on this date, unless you are notified by the Tribunal of a postponement or that the application has been withdrawn or dismissed.
It is likely that mediation will be able to take place quickly after there is an agreement to mediate and will take place before the date fixed for the hearing or case management discussion.
Where mediation is due to take place and you feel this requires the deadline to supply information or written representations to the Tribunal to be extended, or requires the hearing or case management discussion to be postponed, you should contact the Tribunal in writing to make this request as soon as you become aware of this.
If the dispute is resolved at mediation, then the applicant should contact the Tribunal in writing to request that the application be withdrawn.
If mediation is successful and results in an agreement which has a timescale for compliance, and the applicant wishes to await compliance with the agreement before withdrawing the application, the applicant should contact the Tribunal in writing to:
1. confirm the position in relation to when the mediation agreement is due to be complied with, and
2. request a postponement of proceedings until after this timescale has expired.
Finding a Mediator?
The Tribunal cannot offer validation or recommendation of any particular mediation service or refer parties to a mediator.
Scottish Mediation acts as the professional body for mediators in Scotland and maintains the Scottish Mediation Register of mediators. Parties who want to use mediation to resolve their case can find a relevant mediator by accessing this Register on the Scottish Mediation web site https://www.scottishmediation.org.uk/find-a-mediator/ and by selecting Housing and Property in the ‘Types of Mediation’ Box on the lower right hand side of the page.
Can the Tribunal hear multiple applications at the same time?
Yes, the Tribunal has the power to direct that two or more applications should be heard together. The Rules state:
“12.—(1) The First-tier Tribunal may direct two or more applications to be heard together where they are under consideration by the First-tier Tribunal at the same time and relate to the same—
(b) required work;
(c) property factor;
(d) letting agent; or
(2) The First-tier Tribunal may require the parties to take any steps necessary to enable two or more applications to be heard together.”
Who will the members of the tribunal be?
Under The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber and Upper Tribunal for Scotland (Composition) Regulations 2016 a tribunal may be composed of:
a legal member;
a legal member and one ordinary member; or
a legal member and two ordinary members
The legal member will always be the chairing member of the tribunal. All legal members appointed to the Chamber are qualified as solicitors or advocates. Ordinary members are either qualified as chartered surveyors, or have other experience of or practical involvement in housing and land related issues.
An exception to the above composition is in applications by a landlord for assistance in exercising a right under section 181(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006(1). These applications may be decided by the First-tier Tribunal consisting of an ordinary member sitting alone.
What action can the tribunal take before a hearing takes place?
The tribunal has the power to make inquiries, and can require the parties to attend a hearing or produce documents or information. If a party is served with a Direction from the tribunal requiring attendance or further information then they must comply with that, otherwise they may be guilty of a criminal offence and could be fined. It is also an offence to knowingly give false information to the tribunal.
The tribunal may also hold a case management discussion to determine how an application should proceed, and this can be held in a hearing venue, or over telephone/video conference.
What is a Direction?
Directions either orally or in writing are a method by which tribunals regulate the conduct or progress of the proceedings in a case before them. The provisions in Rule 16 set out some circumstances in which a tribunal may wish to issue a Direction. Tribunals may issue directions to instruct parties on such matters as:
documents that need to be given to the other side and lodged (filed with the Tribunal) prior to the Hearing; and
witnesses and documents the parties should bring to the hearing.
Please refer to The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (Procedure) Regulations 2017 in full for further information. If Directions are issued they may require one party to do something but the Direction must be intimated on all parties.
Do I have to comply with the Direction?
The Scottish Tribunals (Offences in Relation to Proceedings) Regulations 2016 provide that it is an offence to fail to comply with a Direction. If the tribunal considers that such an offence has taken place during the proceedings, they will refer the matter to the police for investigation.
What is a case management discussion?
A case management discussion is a discussion between the Tribunal and the parties about aspects of the case that may require to be dealt with in order to efficiently resolve the dispute. Case management discussions will normally take place at hearing venues, and parties will be required to attend. If this is not possible, contact with the Tribunal to explain this should be made in advance and at as early a stage as possible..
At the case management discussion, the Tribunal may wish to:
identify the issues to be resolved;
identify what facts are agreed between the parties;
raise with parties any issues it requires to be addressed;
discuss what witnesses, documents and other evidence will be required; and
discuss whether or not a hearing is required;
As well as the above matters, the Tribunal may do anything at a case management discussion which it may do at a hearing, including making a decision on the application which may involve making or refusing an eviction order or payment order. It is important therefore that you attend the case management discussion if one is arranged. If you do not attend the case management discussion, this will not stop a decision or order being made by the Tribunal if the Tribunal consider that it has sufficient information before it to do so and the procedure has been fair.
Do I have to attend the case management discussion or the hearing?
Think carefully before you decide not to attend a case management discussion or hearing. Remember that if you choose not to attend, you will not be able to respond to any of the points the other parties make on the day and the Tribunal will not have the chance to ask you any questions. If you do not attend, then the Tribunal can decide to proceed and make a decision in your absence if the Tribunal consider that it has sufficient information before it to do so and the procedure has been fair.
All subsequent questions which refer to a hearing apply equally to a case management discussion.
Does the Housing and Property Chamber take account of specific requirements a party has for enabling them to attend at and participate in a case management discussion or Hearing?
We will do our best to ensure that any hearing venues we use are accessible to all parties.
When you are first contacted by the Tribunal, there will be an accompanying form which asks you to let us know of any requirements the hearing venue should have to enable you to attend at and participate in the proceedings. If you wish confirmation of this or if there are other requirements which you have not told us about, then please let us know as soon as possible. If a party or a witness needs an interpreter for the hearing, we can arrange this if we are told about this in advance.
When will the Hearing be held?
Hearings are held on weekdays within normal working hours. You should always receive at least 14 days’ notice of the date for a hearing - unless all parties consent to a shorter period, or there are urgent or exceptional circumstances. In most cases, you will be given at least 28 days’ notice, since the Tribunal will notify parties of a hearing date and request any written submissions at the same time.
Tribunal hearings are held in public – what does this mean?
It is a requirement of the Rules that tribunal hearings are held in public. This means that details of the hearing are published on the Tribunal website in advance, and members of the public can attend to view proceedings.
If you have a special reason for wishing the hearing to be held in private then you must write to the Tribunal in advance explaining what the reason is and asking them to hold the hearing in private. The Tribunal will then decide whether or not to agree to your request, but will only agree to hold the hearing in private if they decide it is necessary in the interests of justice to do so.
We will tell you in advance about the hearing time and the hearing venue. We will do our best to make sure the hearing starts on time. This time may be changed to suit individual circumstances.
It’s important you arrive on time. Please let us know if you or your witnesses are delayed. If you decide not to attend, then please let us know. You and the people you are bringing should arrive 10 minutes before the hearing is due to start.
What happens at the Hearing?
The Tribunal will decide what procedure is to be followed at the hearing, and the chairing member must take reasonable steps to:
introduce to the parties the members of the First-tier Tribunal conducting the hearing;
explain the purpose of the hearing; and
ensure that the parties to the hearing understand and can participate in the proceedings.
At the hearing you will be able to tell the Tribunal your view on the issues and you can also bring witnesses if you wish but you will have to arrange this and notify the tribunal in in advance. You will be able to ask the other party questions and also question any witnesses he or she has brought to the hearing. The Tribunal have the right to record Hearings and you will be notified at the outset of the Hearing if it is to be recorded. The Chairperson and member(s) will keep a note of the evidence submitted at the Hearing. The Tribunal will want to establish from the evidence:
What they think the relevant facts are,
What conclusions should be drawn from these facts, and
what should be the outcome of the application.
Can I attend personally or do I have to be represented?
You can conduct your case yourself or you can have your representative conduct the case for you. Do not be put off attending a hearing – the procedure is fairly informal and the chairperson will ensure that you know what is happening. There are rules that govern representatives and supporters of parties at proceedings. The rule regarding representation is Rule 10:
10 (1) A party may be represented in any proceedings by a representative whose details must be notified to the First-tier Tribunal prior to any hearing.
(2) A party may disclose any document or communicate any information about the proceedings to that party’s lay representative or legal representative without contravening any prohibition or restriction on disclosure of the document or information.
(3) Where a document or information is disclosed under paragraph (2), the representative is subject to any prohibition or restriction on disclosure in the same way that the party is.
(4) A practice direction, an order, or anything permitted or required to be done by a party under these Rules, may be done by a lay representative, except the signing of an affidavit or precognition.
(5) The First-tier Tribunal may order that a lay representative is not to represent a party if—
(a) it is of the opinion that the lay representative is an unsuitable person to act as a lay representative (whether generally or in the proceedings concerned); or
(b) it is satisfied that to do so would be in the interests of the efficient administration of justice.
(6) Where a representative begins to act for a party after the application is made, the representative must immediately notify the First-tier Tribunal and any other party of that fact.
(7) Where a representative ceases to act for a party, the representative or the party must immediately notify the First-tier Tribunal and any other party of that fact, and give details of any new representative (if known).
The rule regarding supporters is Rule 11:
11.(1) A party who is an individual may be accompanied by another individual to act as a supporter.
(2) A supporter may assist the party by—
(a) providing moral support;
(b) helping to manage tribunal documents and other papers;
(c) taking notes of the proceedings;
(d) quietly advising on—
(i) points of law and procedure;
(ii) issues which the party might wish to raise with the First-tier Tribunal.
(3) A party may show any document or communicate any information about the proceedings to that party’s supporter without contravening any prohibition or restriction on disclosure of the document or information.
(4) Where a document or information is disclosed under paragraph (3), the supporter is subject to any prohibition or restriction on disclosure in the same way that the party is.
(5) A supporter may not represent the party.
(6) The First-tier Tribunal may order that a person is not to act as a supporter of a party if—
(a)it is of the opinion that the supporter is an unsuitable person to act as a supporter (whether generally or in the proceedings concerned); or
(b)it is satisfied that to do so would be in the interests of the efficient administration of justice.
Can I bring written evidence which has not been sent before to the Tribunal?
This is covered by Rules 21 and 22:
21.(1) The First-tier Tribunal may require any person—
(a)to attend a hearing of the First-tier Tribunal at such time and place as the First-tier Tribunal may specify for the purposes of giving evidence; and
(b)to give the First-tier Tribunal, by such day as it may specify, such documents or information as it may reasonably require.
(2) Paragraph (1) does not authorise the First-tier Tribunal to require any person to answer any question or to disclose anything which the person would be entitled to refuse to answer or disclose on grounds of confidentiality in civil proceedings in a court in Scotland.
(3) Where the First-tier Tribunal has set time limits for the lodging and serving of written evidence under rule 22(1), it must not consider any written evidence which is not lodged or served in accordance with those time limits unless satisfied that there is good reason to do so.
(4) Where a party seeks to rely upon a copy of a document as evidence, the First-tier Tribunal may require the original document to be produced.
22.(1) Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, or as otherwise specified by the First-tier Tribunal, a party must send to the First-tier Tribunal no later than 7 days prior to any hearing notified under rule 24(1)—
(a)a list of any documents and copies of the documents that the party wishes to rely upon; and
(b)a list of any witnesses that the party wishes to call to give evidence.
(2) Before allowing a document to be lodged late, the First-tier Tribunal must be satisfied that the party has a reasonable excuse.
If there are documents that a party wishes the tribunal to consider at the hearing (other than the documents which comprise the application and/or any written representations submitted), they must be sent in advance. When submitting productions a party must send to the Chamber a list of documents, together with copies of the documents that they wish to rely on, no later than 7 days before the hearing. If a party wishes to rely on a document which has not been sent to the Chamber at least 7 days before the hearing, the tribunal may decide that this cannot be considered as part of the evidence in the case, or the hearing may need to be adjourned until a later date. The tribunal may allow the document to be included with the evidence only if it is satisfied that there is good reason to do so, and considers this to be fair in the circumstances.
What documentation constitutes a production as opposed to written representations?
Productions comprise paperwork which did not form part of the application and written representations/ answers received following the issue of the notice of referral. The application is circulated to the parties at the time of notice of referral and the written representations/ answers are received by the Chamber within a designated timescale after the notice of referral is issued, and the Housing and Property Chamber administration will ensure that copies of paperwork submitted at this stage are crossed over and both parties see the others’ written representations/ answers.
Productions can be documents, photographs, statements forming the evidence, skeleton arguments on issues parties wish to advance in some detail at the hearing, etc
Can parties bring witnesses to the Hearing?
If you wish to bring a witness/ witnesses with you on the day of the hearing to give evidence on your behalf, you must send to the Chamber no later than 7 days before the hearing a list of these witnesses. If you do not send a list of witnesses at least 7 days before the hearing, the tribunal may decide that evidence from this witness/ these witnesses cannot be heard, or the hearing may need to be adjourned until a later date.
What happens if someone is disruptive at the Hearing?
Everyone attending the hearing is expected to behave in a polite and appropriate manner. The Tribunal has the power to exclude any person from the hearing if that person is being disruptive – this includes any party, representative, or supporter.
In what format can I send written information?
You can send information by post, email or fax. Typed submissions are preferable, though handwritten evidence is also acceptable. Any handwritten submissions should be clearly legible, and this may mean it should be written in block letters to aid the Tribunal Members and other parties in understanding your submissions. If we receive a submission that is difficult to read, we may ask if you are able to supply the information in another way, so that your submissions can be considered in full.
I have documents to attach to an email, is there a size limit for emails sent to the Tribunal?
We are only able to receive attachments that total 20MB in size. If your documentation is larger than this, then if possible separate the document to be attached over multiple emails. If your file is too large you may have to consider sending the documentation by other means.
For system security reasons we cannot open zipped files sent to us, or follow links to online document storage sites.
Can I send video or audio evidence?
At this point in time, we are unable to accept video or audio evidence. We do not have the facility to share evidence submitted as video or audio files to the other parties and the Tribunal.
If a party wishes to submit video or audio evidence they should notify the office in writing, explaining the nature of the recording. This submission will be sent to the Tribunal and the other party, and the evidence should be brought along to the Hearing. At the Hearing the Tribunal will hear the views of the parties on whether the evidence should be accepted, and make a preliminary decision on this issue. In the event that the Tribunal accept the evidence, the party submitting it should bring with them a means of playing the recording - for example a tablet or laptop computer. Personal mobile devices like smartphones are not suitable for use to present video evidence.