The Scottish Parliament is to pass a law that will prevent landlords evicting tenants for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says that no one will be evicted from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic as she announces plans for emergency legislation.
The Scottish Government is to bring forward a Bill this week which will address the issue of residential tenant evictions during the crisis. The Bill when passed into law will increase the period of notice which landlords must give their tenants up to six months, depending on the individual circumstances.
Currently, under the Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 private sector landlords must give between 28-84 day’s notice. Measures brought in under the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill will be for six months expiring automatically, but with an option for the Scottish Parliament to extend for two further periods of six months.
Ms Sturgeon indicated that the legislation will be put before the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday with the intention of passing into law by Wednesday. It will make “adjustments to criminal procedure and to other aspects of the justice system”.
Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Among a number of other things, that legislation will ensure that no-one can be evicted from their home during this crisis.
“It will increase to six months in most cases the minimum period of notice a landlord must give to a tenant before eviction.
“The legislation will apply to tenants in both the private sector and the social housing sector and will provide all tenants with additional security at what is an immensely difficult time.
Michael Russell the Scottish Government’s Constitution Secretary says:
“While all tenants experiencing issues with rent arrears should firstly explain their circumstances to their landlords, this new emergency legislation will provide an important backstop to prevent evictions and relieve the financial pressure people may be facing.
“We are also encouraging all landlords to be as flexible as possible during this unprecedented time and would urge them to also seek assistance if necessary by speaking to their lenders about mortgage breaks.”
The Government is encouraging all residential landlords in Scotland “to be as flexible as possible during this unprecedented time and would urge them to also seek assistance if necessary by speaking to their lenders about mortgage breaks.”