On 9th June, the Deputy First Minister announced in Scottish Parliament that the the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) Bill for increased notice periods for evictions has been extended by six months. This extension is in relation to the on-going threat that Covid poses to public health in Scotland. Draft legislation has now been published for this purpose.
The Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) Bill amends the expiry date of the Scottish Coronavirus Acts to 31st March 2022. It will also enable the Acts to be extended again, should it be necessary, to 30th September 2022.
For the rented sector, that means a continuance of all current emergency provisions – such as increased notice periods for evictions, until at least 31 March 2022. Tribunal discretion and private landlord pre-action protocols will also be extended. That Bill has now been published and can be seen online here.
The bill will be debated and is expected to be approved by MSPs this week before parliament goes into recess.
Scottish Association of Landlords
SAL is disappointed that the current provisions have been extended to continue to delay landlords evicting tenants. They say the good work that has been done between landlords and tenants to avoid eviction action hasn’t been considered.
John Blackwood, Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said:
“We are urging the Scottish Government to recognise the excellent and supportive work done by landlords over the past 15 months. We hope they will look at the facts of the current situation. There has been a 53% reduction in eviction applications in the private rented sector. Landlords are clear that it’s in their best interests to be as flexible as possible to sustain tenancies and avoid eviction action. From our analysis of rent arrears eviction cases, it is evident that the existing eviction rules requiring landlords to give 6 months’ notice have sadly made matters worse for tenants who have accumulated rent arrears that they will struggle to pay off in the future.”
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