Over the COVID-19 period, legislation has been put in place by the Scottish Government to provide protection for residential tenants from eviction in the short to medium term.
The Scottish Government are in the process of extending the eviction protection provisions brought into force by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 Scotland, which are due to expire on 30 September 2020. The provisions look set to be extended a further six months until 31 March 2021.
Parliament are set to consider the extension in the next couple of weeks and the Scottish Government has published its statement of reasons and are drafting regulations to amend the expiry dates of the Coronavirus Acts as of 28 August 2020.
This extension would be in addition to the proposed regulations around pre-action for Landlords before eviction which are also under consideration in draft form.
It is important to note for Landlords that this is not a 'ban' on evictions as is often reported. Rather, the process has been modified and slowed by the Scottish Government, the main provisions which are summarised below.
Private Residential Tenancies, Regulated Tenancies, Assured and Short-Assured Tenancies
- All eviction grounds are now discretionary and will be considered by the First Tier Tribunal: Property and Housing Chamber ("FTT");
- An Eviction Order will only be granted if the FTT considers it reasonable;
- Notice periods have been extended significantly in some cases (up to six months); and
- For termination at the end of a Short-Assured Tenancy, possession will only be granted if the FTT considers it reasonable.