Tuesday, 03 March 2015

Scottish council seizes control of properties in first use of legal power

A Scottish council has seized control of properties notorious for anti-social behaviour, in the first use legal powers to combat nuisance behaviour.

Edinburgh Council won a court order last week granting them a management control order of two Grove Street flats for a year.

The ‘party flats’ were found to be used as venues rented out to stag and hen parties for weekend breaks in the city.

The MCO gives the council ‘the rights and obligations of a landlord’ over the properties.

It is the first use of the legal power, which has been available to Scottish councils since 2006, and the council remains in legal discussions about exactly what responsibilities they will assume.

A spokesperson for the council said the power may be used more widely, both in Edinburgh and across Scotland, if it is successful at Grove Road.  

Cammy Day, the council’s community safety leader, said: ‘I hope [the decision] sends out a clear message to landlords that we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour and will take decisive action against those who make people’s lives a misery.

‘We have consistently tried to work with the landlord to reach an amicable solution but he has not been co-operative. This is the first time that a management control order has been granted in Scotland and now means we are the landlords of the two properties.’

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Readers' comments (6)

  • Michael White

    It’s a good idea and will hopefully bring relief to those living within earshot of the properties.

    One thing though. If the landlord has been decidedly un-cooperative how about putting into law the ability to either remove such a person from being the 'active' landlord of a property. Force them, by law, to go through an Agent who will manage the property and can then, as part of the contract, ‘have’ to comply with orders from the Local Authority.

    Or, buy the property/s with a type of compulsory purchase order, and the L.A. can rent it out themselves.

    Get a portfolio of these and the L.A. can earn itself a wee bit of extra revenue ‘and’ control noisy neighbours.

    Maybe an idea for south of the border as well?

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  • Melvin Bone

    If the council is now liable for the rent the landlord has not really suffered...

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  • Great idea, and the loss of income for the property owners acts as a real deterrent for other landlords not taking their responsibility as seriously as their profit.

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  • With the council taking control of the propety their management fees and possibly using the remander of the rent money for repairs to bring the property up to the repairing standard there would be very little left for the landlord

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  • Firstly, this is NOT at landlord. This is someone who is effectively running a Holiday Home.

    No doubt helping the local economy by providing accommodation to those who want to come to visit Edinburgh's for their stag do. These visitors spend money in restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs. But rather then making the people responsible for their action, it is this 'alleged' landlord who is told it is your fault. May be the council should take over pubs and bars as responsible for selling the booze to these party people.

    I don't want to defend this 'alleged' landlord (as it is not a rental property, but a holiday home). I believe Edinburgh council are just as wrong in its attitude. It does get to the heart of the matter, which is marking the people who cause ASB responsible for their own actions.

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  • Melvin Bone

    The irony being that the tourist board actively promoted Edinburgh as a stag and hen location...

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