Wednesday 16 November 2016

Can you sue the Private Rented Housing Committee in Scotland?

Can you sue the Private Rented Housing Committee in Scotland?  GLC are currently acting in an appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session against a decision of the Private Rented Housing Committee (PRHC). 

The question of law in issue is whether it was lawful for the PRHC to increase the rent of the tenant of a charitable, registered social landlord by 77% per month, by using private rented sector comparators in Glasgow.

The President of the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) has responded by asserting that it is not competent to appeal against the PRHP or PRHC, and that any appeal should be against the social landlord. Reliance was placed on the Inner House opinion in Dundee City Council v. Dundee Valuation Appeal Committee and Fleming Hanson (2011) CSIH 73, and paragraph 37 of schedule 1 to the Tribunal and Inquiries Act 1992 (the 1992 Act). All of which would mean an appeal against the PRHC was incompetent.

GLC are quite clear that the President of the PRHP has failed to consider the consequential changes made to the 1992 Act by paragraph 17 of schedule 6 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006. Paragraph 17 amends paragraph 59 of schedule 1 of the 1992 Act to expressly include the "Private Rented Housing Committee". 

Section 11(7)(b)(i) of the 1992 expressly refers to a decision of a tribunal in paragraph 59 being one which can appealed against to the Court of Session.  Valuation committees are not so expressly mentioned, and therefore the Dundee City Council decision is of no relevance.

Accordingly, it would appear the PRHC can be appealed against in Scotland. The appellant is represented by GLC's Mike Dailly, Solicitor Advocate.

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