The Scottish Government has announced that the current ban on landlords enforcing eviction ban orders is to be extended until 30 September 2021, although this will be kept under review. The likelihood is that the ban will extend only to areas under level 3 and 4 restrictions, and so we may see an easing of these measures in certain local authority areas as we come out of lockdown.
In recognition of this, private sector landlords and tenants who face financial difficulties due to COVID-19 will now have more time to access support.
Two interest-free loan schemes have also now been extended to combat the impact of the pandemic: The Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme (non-business) and the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund.
Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme
This scheme offers eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income, for up to three properties.
Support from this loan scheme will be available to private sector landlords who are not classified as businesses. If you are a landlord with five or fewer properties to rent and have lost rental income due to tenants being unable to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are eligible to apply.
Tenant Hardship Loan Fund
This scheme is Designed to help tenants who have had their finances or employment impacted by the COVID-19, and to assist those who do not have other means of housing support.
If successful, the loan is available for social and private tenants up to a maximum of nine months’ rent costs, covering rent arrears and future rent, where those arrears have arisen since 1 January 2020 (the loan will not be available where a tenant had rent arrears before this date).
The loan can include up to a maximum of three months of future rent payments as part of the nine-month total.
The loan is repayable, and so tenants must consider whether this is an appropriate solution depending on their circumstances. Tenants may also be entitled to receive non-repayable support such as Universal Credit or Discretionary Housing Payments.
Further information on support for tenants can be found here.