Minimum period for applications to remain in force - suspensions under section 20B of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987: statutory guidance

Statutory guidance on the category of suspensions and the legal requirements social landlords must comply with.

17. How Far Back Can A Landlord Go in Considering an Applicant’s Behaviour or Circumstances?

17.1 Section 20B does not specify how many years back a landlord can look at when considering an applicant’s behaviour or circumstances. In considering an applicant’s previous behaviour, landlords should generally consider the applicant’s behaviour or circumstances for no more than three years prior to the application for housing.

17.2 Landlords should exercise their discretion when deciding whether it is appropriate to impose a suspension. For example if an applicant or tenant has behaved antisocially two or three years ago, but has changed their behaviour since and is no longer behaving antisocially it may not be appropriate to suspend them.

17.3 There may be occasional circumstances where a landlord may consider behaviour which took place more than three years prior to the application. This should only take place in exceptional circumstances and landlords should bear in mind that they may have to explain any decision to do so.

17.4 The Scottish Government has the power to set out in law a maximum period of time that landlords can consider in deciding whether to impose a suspension under section 20B and may do so if it becomes evident that landlords are not having appropriate regard to this guidance.



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