Scottish government announce eviction ban extension to September 30
Living Rent and Shelter Scotland have celebrated a Scottish government announcement that will ban evictions in the social and private sector until September 30.
The regulations apply to areas subject to level three or four restrictions and will be reviewed every 21 days to ensure they remain necessary to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
Both organisations have campaigned for the eviction ban to be extended after fears were raised that the ban may be lifted at the end of March.
But they have said that they welcome the clarity from Kevin Stewart, minister for local government, housing and planning, who revealed to the Evening News last night that the eviction ban would be extended.
Siri, who is a Living Rent member, has also welcomed the news having been evicted twice since the pandemic began.
She said: “From no fault of my own, I was evicted twice during the pandemic.
“Once illegally, where my things were thrown out on the street, electricity turned off and the locks were changed, and the second time because the landlord was eager to sell due to the favorable market, with no regard to my safety or ability to find alternative accommodation during a global pandemic.
“Both evictions put me under financial and emotional stress, and I can only imagine how much more stressful it could have been had I not found another place to live in time. I could not bear to have that happen again, and the extension of the ban gives myself and a lot of other tenants some safety.”
Living Rent said that they welcomed the announcement by the housing minister.
But said that the government must do more to protect tenants as the eviction ban is only a “stop-gap” at best.
A Living Rent spokesperson said: “They have shown willingness to review rent controls and stop unfair evictions. Now they need to listen to tenants' needs- more, better quality social housing and rent controls that work.”
A spokesperson for leading housing charity Shelter Scotland said: “This ban on evictions is extremely important as we do not wish to see anyone evicted during this pandemic.
“We welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has now confirmed that they have extended the temporary ban on the enforcement of eviction orders in areas subject to level 3 and 4 restrictions. But we do have concerns about evictions proceeding in areas where there are tier one and two restrictions, as we know that many people will be struggling to keep their homes due to rent arrears building up.
“We therefore need to ensure that people are supported with their rent arrears. There are more than 11,000 households already in temporary accommodation in Scotland, and that is why we are calling for a non-refundable grant for tenants who cannot access support for rent arrears elsewhere.”
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Given the continuing risk the pandemic poses to people’s health, we are extending the temporary regulations banning the enforcement of eviction orders in the private and social rented sectors.
“We have been clear that no landlord should evict a tenant because they have suffered financial hardship due to the pandemic and that tenants in difficulty should engage with their landlord and seek advice on the options open to them.”