Law News

Scotland Taking Harsher Approach to Westminster’s Eviction Ban Plans

Andrew Truglia - March 25, 2020

Landlords in Scotland could be banned from evicting tenants for the next six months if their plans are approved.

Scottish MSPs want to make evictions for private and social renting tenants illegal for the next six months in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has left many tenants out of work and unable to pay their rent. 

Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell says that the Scottish Parliament will use emergency powers granted under the Coronavirus Bill to prevent people affected by the outbreak from losing their homes. 

This is a stark contrast to the UK government which has been accused of breaking its promise to end evictions during the outbreak period, instead merely extending the eviction notice period from two, to three months. 

Dame Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Simply extending notice periods to three months cannot be seen as ‘job done’. It means that people dealing with unimaginable financial uncertainty still face the prospect of being served with an eviction notice.

“Over the coming days, the government must keep their promise and add to these changes to make sure no one loses the roof over their head as a result of coronavirus.”

Scotland on the other hand seems to be going beyond the initial promise, once again demonstrating a clear difference in priorities between a Conservative UK Government and the SNP’s own policies. 

In the Scottish Parliament yesterday, Aileen Campbell said: “There should be no eviction as a result of Covid-19.

“Our emergency legislation will have provisions to ensure there will be no evictions from the private rented sector or the social rented sector for six months.”

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also supported proposed legislation to protect all types of tenants during the Covid-19 outbreak.

She commented: “Nobody should be evicted from their home as a result of this crisis and I will make that clear at every opportunity.

“We’ve already indicated a legislative change we will make to expand the three month period for which people can’t be evicted for rent arrears to six months.

“We will continue to look at how we give people additional security over and above that.”