Defending joint tenant against eviction

Govan Law Centre (“GLC”) have been successful in preventing the eviction of a client and his family, following threat of interdict against their landlord.

Laura Brennan, GLC Trainee Solicitor

It is not enough for an RSL to have a court order against only one joint tenant, in accordance with sections 14 and 16 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

Laura Brennan (GLC trainee solicitor)

GLC were consulted by a man who was facing threat of homelessness because decree for eviction had been granted against his partner for rent arrears. It was the position of our client that he had not been made aware of the court action by the Registered Social Landlord (“RSL”) who rented the property to them.

Following the decree being granted, our client was made aware of what had happened and was given an ultimatum; clear the rent arrears by the end of April or the decree will be enforced. This would have the effect of evicting our client, his partner and their children from the property.

Our client and his partner had taken entry of the property at the same time and although only his partner’s name was on the front of the Tenancy Agreement, they had both signed the back of the agreement as joint tenants.

The RSL now cannot enforce the decree they have obtained and our client can remain in the property with his family.

Laura Brennan (GLC Trainee solicitor)

As our client had signed the Tenancy Agreement as such, it was our position that he could only be legally evicted if the RSL had a court order against him as well. It is not enough for an RSL to have a court order against only one joint tenant, in accordance with sections 14 and 16 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

GLC raised an action for interdict and interim interdict to prevent our client from being evicted without a court order. In response to the action raised, the RSL concerned provided a letter of undertaking that they would not enforce the decree they had obtained against our client’s partner.

Following receipt of their letter of undertaking, we made a motion for the court action to be dismissed with no expenses to our client. The RSL now cannot enforce the decree they have obtained and our client can remain in the property with his family.

This article was published in the Scottish Legal News

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