I am pleased that thanks to colleagues in the Scottish Government, private and social tenants will be given increased protection from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic.
Emergency legislation will increase the minimum notice period for private and social tenants to up to six months depending on the grounds used, helping to protect them from eviction.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill, to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (March 31), will contain substantial further powers and measures to ensure essential public services can continue throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
Constitution Secretary and Argyll & Bute MSP, Michael Russell said:
“Our lives are being affected as we all play our part in trying to slow the spread of coronavirus and follow the essential public health advice to stay at home. For some households and businesses there will be financial difficulties ahead and that could include struggling to pay the rent.
“While all tenants experiencing issues with rent arrears should firstly explain their circumstances to their landlords, this new emergency legislation will provide an important backstop to prevent evictions and relieve the financial pressure people may be facing. We are also encouraging all landlords to be as flexible as possible during this unprecedented time and would urge them to also seek assistance if necessary by speaking to their lenders about mortgage breaks.
“This bill will provide substantial additional emergency powers to help the justice system, public services and the economy to cope. These measures, which will be strictly limited to the duration of the outbreak, are absolutely necessary to help us all through the coming months.
“The Scottish Government welcomes the very positive all-party discussions that have allowed this legislation to be drafted so quickly. These new measures will help us all as we work to tackle the virus.”