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Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill 2020

Posted by Barry Burton on April 6, 2020
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On 1 April 2020, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill 2020, considered ‘Emergency Legislation’ by the Scottish Government, passed through Holyrood’s full legislative process in just one day. Changes to legislation introduced in this bill, are to be lifted after six months of its introduction, however Scottish Ministers have the power to extend the period on two occasions, by a further six months each time, to a maximum of 18 months overall. The bill focuses on devolved powers, primarily Housing and Justice.

The legislation makes changes to the notice period that a landlord is required to give a tenant. The notice period depends on the type of tenancy and the eviction ground being used.

Private Residential Tenancies

Ground 1 – landlord selling – 6 months
Ground 4 – landlord moving in – 3 months
Ground 5 – landlord’s family member moving in – 3 months
Ground 10 – tenant not occupying property – 28 days
Ground 11 – breach of tenancy terms – 6 months
Ground 12 – tenant has owed some rent for 3 months – 6 months
Ground 13 – criminal behaviour – 3 months
Ground 14 – anti-social behaviour – 3 months
Ground 15 – association with person with criminal conviction/engaged in anti-social behaviour – 3 months
Ground 16 – landlord has been refused registration or had registration revoked – 3 months
Ground 17 – landlord’s HMO licence has been revoked – 3 months
All other grounds – 6 months

Assured/Short Assured Tenancies

Ground 1 – required as or previously used as landlord’s principal home – 3 months
Ground 8 – 3 months’ rent arrears – 6 months
Ground 9 – suitable alternative accommodation available – 2 months
Ground 11 – persistent delay in paying rent – 6 months
Ground 12 – some rent unpaid – 6 months
Ground 13 – breach of tenancy terms – 6 months
Ground 15 – anti-social behaviour – 3 months
All other grounds – 6 months

It should be noted that if the tenant remains in the property beyond the expiry of the Notice to Quit/Notice to Leave, the case can be progressed to the First-tier Tribunal. However, their consideration for eviction will be based on reasonableness, i.e. how reasonable is the need for the tenant to stay in comparison to the need of the landlord for the property to be vacated.

This particular piece of legislation of course gives tenants more protection from eviction for the duration of the pandemic, as well as time for people to apply for financial support or benefits, and make long-term plans. Evergreen Property are regularly in contact with all our tenants, providing details of regulatory changes, as well as signposting to all applicable support packages.

Mortgage Holidays

One of the questions we’ve been asked on a number of occasions is how to apply for mortgage holidays, should we encounter a situation where our tenant cannot afford the rent and has fallen into arrears.

A mortgage or payment holiday is an agreement you make with your lender, whereby you do not make mortgage payments for an agree period of time. It is important to remember that you still owe the amounts that you don’t pay, and chances are you will still be charged interest too. This means that at the end of the holiday period, you will have to make up the missed payments, either by increasing your repayment figure or by adding a short extension to your term. Our understanding is that missed payments agreed with your lender will not affect your credit rating.

If you require more information on the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill 2020 this link will take you to the Scottish Government website –

click here

For mortgage advice please contact your lender.

Please stay safe, and protect the NHS.

From all at Evergreen Property Ltd.

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