Covid-19 And Evictions
4 months ago
Rollos legal team have outlined helpful advice and information for landlords and tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Scottish Parliament has passed legislation to suspend all evictions in rented social and private residential dwellings for a period of six months in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Similarly, the Accountant in Bankruptcy has also suspended the sale of property and eviction of individuals who are currently subject to bankruptcy proceedings until further notice.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament will aim to ensure that individuals and families are not evicted due to financial hardship experienced as a result of the measures implemented to halt the spread of Coronavirus in Scotland.
As the severity of this health emergency increases, parliament voted unanimously in favour of the bill which passed through all three stages of parliamentary scrutiny on the same day –something which has not happened in a decade. However, the Government has confirmed that the powers will be temporary and only necessary during the period of the pandemic. These measures will remain in place for six months but can be extended for two further six–month periods meaning that the measures could be in place for a maximum of 18 months.
Key points for landlords and tenants:
- The legislation will operate by adjusting the notice period for the majority of the 18 grounds for repossession/eviction in Scotland from three months to six (https://www.mygov.scot/private-tenant-eviction/grounds-for-eviction-private-residential-tenancies/).
- Landlords will, however, still be able to serve the usual three-month notice on tenants for evictions under grounds of anti-social and criminal behavior or in a situation where the landlord or a member of his/her family requires to move into the property. For full details of notice periods for all grounds of eviction visit https://scottishlandlords.com/news-and-campaigns/news/covid-19-current-information/
- The legislation introduced will only protect against new evictions and proceedings started prior to the bill gaining Royal Assent (i.e. prior to 7 April 2020) can still be enforced.
Tenants and landlords are encouraged to communicate and act in a reasonable manner during the pandemic but the new legislation is seen as a final safeguard for tenants. The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations has stressed that rental income remains vital for both private and social landlords across Scotland and Tenants should continue to pay rent if they have the capacity to do so.
Government have also announced that private landlords experiencing financial difficulties as a result of loss of rental income will be able to apply for an interest free loan with deferred payments. These loans should be available by the end of April and more information will be available in the coming weeks.
Given the present circumstances, these issues are constantly developing and should you be concerned over your position as either landlord or tenant, call us now on 01334 654 081.