Estate agency trade association Propertymark has urged its members to help prevent the Scottish government from extending the evictions ban – or else risk landlords quitting the sector.
Holyrood is set to debate an extension of the Emergency Coronavirus laws by another six months with the potential to grant a further extension until the end of September 2022, which could include evictions.
The current ban on the enforcement of eviction orders has already been extended to 30th September to protect tenants from proceedings in areas subject to level 3 or 4 restrictions.
The group is encouraging letting agents to write to their MSPs as Daryl Mcintosh (pictured, above), Propertymark’s policy expert based in Scotland, says there isn’t enough data to support a policy decision.
He adds: “Our members want to work with tenants, and it is not constructive to assume the default position will be for agents and landlords to want to evict.”
Notice periods problem
Propertymark says the extension of notice periods that landlords must give tenants is a growing problem; by the time notices expire and evictions can take place, debt levels are crippling.
Says Mcintosh: “Many landlords who have been personally affected by the pandemic are already in the position where selling properties is their only viable option and extending the Bill raises concerns that many landlords could exit the market out of frustration.”
The Scottish Association of Landlords points to a 53% reduction in eviction applications in the private rented sector over the past 15 months.
Chief executive John Blackwood (pictured) tells LandlordZONE that it wants the government to recognise the sector’s excellent and supportive work.
He adds: “Landlords are clear that it is in their best interests to be as flexible as possible in order to sustain tenancies and avoid eviction action being taken.
“From our analysis of rent arrears eviction cases, it is evident that the existing eviction rules requiring landlords to give six months’ notice have sadly made matters worse for tenants who have accumulated rent arrears that they will struggle to pay off in the future.”