Landlord and Tenant – Public Sector Housing – Tenants’ Rights – Right to Purchase – Continuous occupation for 5 years – Continuity – Discretion of landlord to disregard interruption appearing to it to result from circumstances outwith tenant’s control – Gap of over 2 years – Whether material entitling Tribunal to interfere with landlord’s decision – Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, Section 61(2), as amended by Housing (Scotland) Act 2001
The applicant appealed against the refusal, on the ground that she did not have a sufficient period of occupation, of her application to the respondents to purchase her house. Under the 2001 Act, the required period of occupation is 5 years but the landlord “may, as it thinks fit, disregard as not affecting continuity any interruption in occupation which appears to it to result from circumstances outwith the control of” the tenant. The applicant had periods of occupation since 2000 but there was a gap between September 2001 and November 2003 during which she was accommodated privately. She had apparently experienced a number of difficulties in relation to her earlier tenancies, and she complained about wrong information given to her about her housing entitlements.
Held, refusing the application, it might be going too far to say that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction at all to consider the landlord’s exercise of discretion (although fuller submissions on this would be required), but the question whether there was error of law in the exercise of such a discretion was not straightforward and the applicant’s submissions did not explore the issue and the case made did not provide any basis for examining the material available or constructively available to the respondents. There was nothing from which it could properly be concluded that the respondents had erred.
See full decision: LTS/TR/2007/05