Election 2021

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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-34399
Asked by: Ross Greer, West Scotland, Scottish Green Party
Date lodged: 7 January 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to extend the current regulations to protect tenants from eviction.

Current status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 7 January 2021


Answer

We are doing all we can to support tenants to remain in their homes whilst the pandemic continues to be a risk to public health. An important part of this was introducing a temporary ban on the enforcement of eviction orders across both the private and social rented sectors from 6 December to 22 January.

Since then, the emergence of a new variant of the virus has significantly altered the public health landscape and led to the First Minister's announcement that from 5 January, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes.

The continued rise in cases caused by the new variant of the virus means that we must continue to take unprecedented action to ensure everyone, including renters, are protected from the health, social and economic harms of the virus by being able to remain in their homes during this time.

Therefore, regulations will be laid in Parliament next week that will ensure no eviction orders can be enforced within an area under level 3 or 4 restrictions. These regulations will come into force from 22 January and be in force until 31 March, in line with other Coronavirus regulations.

As indicated before, this unprecedented action is not taken lightly, we know the rights of tenants and landlords need to be balanced. Landlords too face uncertainty and financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, which is why these regulations will be reviewed every 21 days.

We will continue to ensure that there are exceptions to this for the most serious circumstances - such as illegal occupation, antisocial behaviour, and criminal behaviour including domestic abuse.