To help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottish Parliament passed two Bills in 2020. These became the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and the Coronavirus (No.2) (Scotland) Act 2020. We previously blogged about the impact each of these Acts would have on Scottish Residential Tenancies.
On 18th June 2021, the Scottish Parliament introduced a new Bill: The Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill. If enacted, the legislation will amend the existing Acts, which were due to expire on 30th September 2021. The legislation will remove several measures no longer considered necessary and extend others for a further six-month period to 31st March 2022. The Scottish Parliament will also be given the power to extend the provisions for another period of six months to 30th September 2022.
What does this mean?
What this means for Scottish Residential Tenancies is that increased notice periods appear to be here to stay. The provisions of the Bill will continue the present extended notice periods for eviction grounds, which are currently:
- At least 28 days (and corresponding with the “ish” date of the Tenancy Agreement) where the eviction ground relates to (a) criminal convictions, (b) tenant absent without reasonable excuse or (c) anti-social behaviour
- 3 months where the tenancy was granted, and the landlord was induced to grant the tenancy by false statement made knowingly or recklessly by the tenant
- 6 months in all other cases, including rent arrears
We can expect such notice periods to remain in place until at least 31st March 2022.
Impact on Evictions
At present, the ban on the enforcement of eviction orders has lifted. Landlords with Decrees or Tribunal Orders for eviction on grounds such as rent arrears or condition of property can continue to enforce these.
The eviction ban did not prevent Decrees or Eviction Orders from being granted throughout the pandemic. This will continue to be the case, despite the extended notice periods. Once you have obtained a Decree or Eviction Order, this can be enforced under the current regulations.
Should you wish further information or advice, please get in touch with our team.