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What are the eviction rules in Scotland following Covid-19?

  • Sharon McDougall -
  • 2nd March 2021 -
  • 2 minutes to read

Understanding your rights as a tenant during the coronavirus pandemic

The Scottish government brought in specific rules to prevent evictions following Covid-19, and continue to provide valuable support to Scottish residents in danger of losing their home.

So what are the eviction rules in Scotland during Covid-19, and where can you go for help and support at this worrying time?

Coronavirus eviction rules in Scotland

Coronavirus-related protection against eviction is in place for tenants in Scotland up until 31st March 2021. If a case was raised on or after 7th April 2020, landlords must provide six months’ notice of their intention to seek eviction.

The landlord has to follow due process, and the First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland hears cases for eviction of private sector tenants. The Tribunal will hear the evidence, and after considering the facts, make a decision on whether the eviction is reasonable in the circumstances.

Obtaining professional representation at an eviction hearing

You can represent yourself at an eviction hearing, putting forward your case and stating how you intend to repay your rent arrears/meet your rent liability in the future months, but it’s advisable to seek professional representation in cases such as these.

Until the end of March 2021, even if the Tribunal or court issues an eviction order, the Scottish government has introduced measures to prevent bailiffs from taking any action to evict, except in cases of criminal or anti-social behaviour.

When are evictions illegal in Scotland?

If the landlord fails to follow the eviction rules in Scotland following Covid-19, their attempt to evict you may be illegal. They might decide to change the locks, for example, cut off utility supplies such as gas and electric, or prevent you from entering your home.

You have protection against harassment and illegal eviction regardless of the situation with coronavirus, and have the right to take your landlord to court for any breach of the eviction laws.

It’s important to know your rights if you’re in rent arrears and fear your landlord may take illegal action. Scotland Debt Solutions can assess your situation and provide reliable independent guidance on your rights and best options.

What to do if you have rent arrears

If you’re in arrears with your rent, it’s important to take action quickly. You should seek professional assistance as soon as possible, to help you establish your financial situation in more detail.

Developing a budget determines whether you have any surplus income that could be put towards your rent arrears and other debts. This will also inform your eligibility for debt remedies, such as a debt payment plan under DAS – the Debt Arrangement Scheme that’s backed by the Scottish government.

A Scottish Trust Deed can also provide a route out of serious debt, and is an official insolvency procedure that helps you avoid bankruptcy. If bankruptcy, or sequestration as it’s termed in Scotland, is your only option, as with a Scottish Trust Deed, any debts that can’t be repaid will be written off leaving you debt-free.

Professional support if you have rent arrears

The new eviction rules in Scotland, brought in as an emergency measure to protect private sector tenants, may come to an end on 31st March 2021. If they’re not extended by the Scottish government, you still have specific rights as a tenant and your landlord must not take any illegal action to evict you.

For more information on the eviction rules in Scotland following Covid-19, please get in touch with our team of licensed insolvency practitioners. Scotland Debt Solutions offers free, same-day consultations from offices around Scotland, so we can quickly establish your situation and present your best options.

Sharon McDougall
Sharon McDougall
Manager
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