March 2021 COVID Update: Evictions legislation and Financial Support

March 2021 COVID Update: Evictions legislation and Financial Support
10
Mar

In this March 2021 COVID update:

  • The Scottish Government has confirmed plans to extend the current coronavirus legislation relating to evictions until 30th September 2021.
  • Further financial support is also being made available to landlords and tenants, through the two existing loan schemes.

Coronavirus evictions legislation

There are two parts to this legislation; the first means that all evictions are at the discretion of the First Tier Tribunal and landlords are required to give longer notice periods when ending a tenancy.

The second part of the legislation covers a ban on enforcing eviction orders. This ban applies during the national lockdown, and when restrictions begin to ease it will apply to areas in Level 3 and Level 4 only. You can check which level your local authority is in, here. The legislation aims to provide a safeguard for tenants during the pandemic but does however make exceptions for cases of serious anti-social behaviour.

The Scottish Association of Landlords has advised that they will lobby the government for a relaxation of this legislation as the public health emergency decreases. The government has already committed to review the regulations every 21 days.

Rental sector government loan schemes extended

This week the Scottish Government announced that the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund and the Private Rent Sector Landlord (non-business) COVID-19 Loan Scheme will continue to receive applications beyond the original deadline of 31st March 2021.

Both schemes offer interest-free loans, and further information and online application can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Tenant Hardship Loan Fund

These repayable loans can be used to cover a maximum of nine months’ rent costs, covering rent arrears and future rent, where those arrears have arisen since 1 January 2020 (the loan will not be available where a tenant had rent arrears before this date). The loan can include up to a maximum of three months of future rent payments as part of the nine-month total.

Other non-repayable financial support may also be available to you, so it is important to consider all options before applying for the Tenant hardship Loan.

Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme

These repayable loans offer eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for up to three properties. It aims to support private sector landlords who are not classified as businesses, have five or fewer properties to rent and have lost rental income due to tenants being unable to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are here to support you

We are here to support all our landlords and tenants, so please get in touch with us should you have any concerns. We understand that the ongoing pandemic is taking its toll, and we urge anyone facing financial difficulties or poor mental health to seek advice as soon as possible.

You can find a summary of current COVID guidance here, and please follow our social media channels for any future updates – find us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram. We’ll also update our online news pages.