The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on almost every area of our lives in Scotland. As a ‘severe and sustained threat to human life’ many changes have been already been introduced by the Westminster and Scottish governments. The latest legislative change, The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill was drawn up on a cross party basis and pushed through Holyrood after just one day’s debate. The bill was passed and the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 came into force a few days later, on 7th April 2020. This makes it the fastest turnaround for a bill in Scottish parliamentary history.
What does this new Act mean for Tenants?
One of the most important functions of the new Coronavirus (Scotland) Act is to protect tenants from eviction during this deadly pandemic. The new rules mean that tenants must now be given 6 months’ notice, prior to eviction.
There are several exceptions to this including
- the landlord needs to live in the property
- a member of the landlord’s family needs to live in the property
- the tenant has engaged in antisocial behaviour
- the tenant has been involved in criminal behaviour
This change will help protect tenants who have suddenly lost their income and are facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. The extension to the eviction notice period will give people in this unfortunate position, the time they need to apply for the necessary support or benefits.
It must be noted that the measures introduced by this Act are only temporary and have been put in place to deal with the unique situation that the country is currently in. For this reason, the new Act has a 6thmonth limitation which is due to expire on 30th September 2020. However, there is provision in the legislation to extend this period if required.
The welfare of tenants should always be a top propriety for landlords and letting agents. We would therefore actively encourage any tenant facing problems paying their rent on time, to get in touch with us as soon as possible. We will be able to offer essential support and guidance during this extremely difficult time.