10 Mar 2021
The Scottish Government has announced a further extension to the ban on eviction orders until the end of September 2021.
The government had originally confirmed that the ban would apply until the end of March and that it would be reviewed every 21 days.
When the ban was first introduced the government said the move would provide renters with safe homes during the pandemic. It would also reduce the burden on local authorities, who have a duty to rehouse people made homeless through eviction, and would also make it easier for people to follow guidelines during the lockdown.
The extended ban applies to all evictions in areas subject to level three or four Coronovirus protection restrictions, but there will be some exceptions including cases of serious anti-social behaviour.
In addition to the eviction ban, the government has taken a range of other measures to support tenants including increasing the Discretionary Housing Fund to provide additional housing support and the introduction of the Tenant Hardship Fund.
Furthermore, the private Rent Sector Landlord CPVID-19 Scheme will offer eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property. It will support private sector landlords who are not classified as businesses, have five or less properties to rent and have lost rental income due to tenants being unable to pay rent as a result of the pandemic.
The current economic environment is likely to be with us for some time to come and as such landlords should be prepared to manage any financial difficulties their tenants might be suffering, and ultimately a flexible approach is always recommended.
Many tenants may find they are having to deal with a range of issues when we begin to emerge from the coronavirus outbreak, not least redundancy and other costs. There will also be the important matter of arrears to consider, and indeed how these are managed.
Commenting on the new extension Adrian Sangster, Leasing Director at Aberdein Considine said:
“It’s absolutely vital that the relationship between landlords and their tenants remains a positive one and there’s no doubt the pandemic has created difficulties for both.
This new extension will have an impact on landlords across the country, many of whom will not be large organisations or rental businesses but individuals who may well have very good reasons to wish to take back possession of a property having given the required notice.
It is important that landlords maintain a dialogue with their tenants as regular communication can help prevent disputes and more complex and costly legal proceedings. The laws which regulate the sector can be complex to navigate and landlords should take advice from a regulated lettings professional before looking at taking action.”