The Scottish government has extended its evictions ban in everything but name after rushing through its The Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) bill, which has now passed into law.
As expected the temporary restrictions have been extended to 31 March 2022, with the potential to be extended until 30 September 2022. Reviews will be held every two months.
Prior to vote, landlord and letting agent groups had urged member to lobby their MSPs to prevent this happening.
But the SNP government included both the existing extended notice periods and also that discretionary grounds for possession within the extended Coronavirus bill.
The discretionary grounds include Section 33 notices, which will be for members of the first-tier tribunal to decide whether to grant an eviction order or not.
The extended notice periods that tenants have been enjoying remain in place, namely six months, three months or 28 days depending on the grounds being used.
Pre-action requirements before an eviction on the grounds of rent arrears remain in place.
Letting agents and landlords must ensure they continue engaging with tenants and that eviction on this ground is a very last resort, the new legislation make clear.
Daryl McIntosh, Policy Manager for Propertymark (pictured), says: “The Scottish Government have to review the measures every two months and we will continue to provide case studies and evidence which highlight agents and landlords’ experiences in the sector, with a view to redressing the balance.”
As LandlordZONE reported earlier this week, the Scottish government is introducing a £10 million grant fund to support tenants who have fallen into rent arrears as a direct result of the pandemic, to run in parallel with its existing loan fund.