01 Jul 2021
Temporary eviction measures have been the subject of some debate throughout the pandemic.
However, this came to a head last week with the passing of The Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill.
This piece of legislation continues the majority of measures introduced by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and Coronavirus (No2) (Scotland) Act 2020, both of which were due to expire in September this year.
In short, it means that temporary eviction measures in Scotland are being extended to 31st March 2022 with the potential of further extension until 30th September 2022.
The extended Notice Periods that tenants are provided remain in place, which are six months, three months or 28 days depending on the grounds being used.
The legislation has included a provision for the Scottish Government to review the effectiveness of the measures every two months, and, if appropriate, removed before the expiry date.
All grounds for possession will continue to be discretionary and this includes the Section 33 notice. Pre-action requirements before an eviction on the grounds of rent arrears remain in place. Lettings agents and landlords must ensure they continue working with tenants and that eviction on this ground is a last resort.
Commenting on the latest piece of legislation Adrian Sangster, Leasing Director, Aberdein Considine said: “The success of the sector, both for landlords and tenants, is reliant on maintaining the right balance of rights and obligations but it would appear in this case that a significant part of the burden is now falling on the shoulders on landlords.
"To some degree, these actions by the government are the result of a shortage of social housing in Scotland, a long standing problem which has yet to be addressed fully.
"The government definitely needs to engage more with those who operate in the PRS and it will be interesting to see the evidence on which the extension has been based.”