The landlord, David Ross, told the tenants he was evicting them from the property in Dennistoun, Glasgow because he had decided he wished to live there himself, yet within a matter of weeks he had sold the property.
Ross served notice for the tenants to vacate the property in December 2020, giving them until March of this year to leave. The tenants left in January after they found alternative accommodation.
However, on 2 February ‒ 19 days after taking possession of the property ‒ Ross instructed estate agents to sell the property, and subsequently accepted an offer in March.
The tenants, Lesley Munro and Grant McNicoll, took the case to court, emphasising that they were happy with the tenancy and would not have left if they had not been given notice.
The case was heard by the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber, which did not accept Ross’s defence, arguing that he “cannot give a coherent explanation for such a significant change of heart”, and that he was “evasive and prevaricated” when questioned.
In its decision, the tribunal stated: “The only realistic conclusion that we can reach is that the respondent misled the applicants, and, as a result of his misrepresentation, the applicants surrendered occupation of the property.”
It opted to fine Ross £2,400, the equivalent of three months’ rent.