Landlords react to six-month extension of increased notice period for evictions

Landlords react to six-month extension of increased notice period for evictions

Scottish landlords have responded to the bill proposing to extend the increased notice period for evictions.

A six-month extension of emergency measures granted under the Scottish Coronavirus Acts will be debated in Parliament this week.

The Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill was formally introduced to the Scottish Parliament on Friday and will be scrutinised and debated by MSPs over three days from June 22.

The Bill removes a number of measures no longer considered necessary to support the ongoing public health response, and extends others beyond the original expiry date of 30 September 2021, subject to the agreement of Parliament, to 31 March 2022.

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), said: “We are urging the Scottish Government to recognise the excellent and supportive work done by landlords over the past 15 months and to look at the facts of the current situation which show a 53% reduction in eviction applications in the private rented sector.

“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.”

He added: “From our analysis of rent arrears eviction cases, it is evident that the existing eviction rules requiring landlords to give 6 months’ notice have sadly made matters worse for tenants who have accumulated rent arrears that they will struggle to pay off in the future.”

Measures proposed for extension for a further six months include:

  • The ability for hearings across criminal and civil courts and tribunals to be held remotely
  • An increased notice period of six months to protect private and social sector tenants from eviction, up from the pre-pandemic 28-day notice period
  • An increase in the minimum debt level that an individual must owe before a creditor can make them bankrupt at £10,000, up from £3,000 pre-pandemic.
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