An eviction ban has been introduced by the Scottish Government to take effect until well into the New Year.
Because of the timescales involved in Scotland, this effectively means no actual eviction will take place until mid-March.
The devolved administration says in a statement that the move will give extra protection to tenants during the Coronavirus pandemic, will reduce the burden on local authorities, and will also make it easier for people to self-isolate if they choose to form extended bubbles during the relaxation of restrictions over Christmas.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart says: “We took early action to, in effect, halt eviction action until March 2021 due to the pandemic. We have supported tenants throughout this difficult period through a number of actions including increasing our Discretionary Housing Fund from £11m to £19m to provide additional housing support and shortly we will introduce our Tenant Hardship Loan Fund.
“We are now taking this additional, temporary step after carefully assessing the unique housing situation created by the pandemic.
“A temporary ban on carrying out evictions will give additional peace of mind to tenants over Christmas and into the new year. It will also prevent additional burdens being placed on health and housing services, during a time where they are already working hard due to the impact of the pandemic.
“It will allow tenants who are facing eviction, and may decide to take the opportunity to form extended bubbles over the festive period in line with relaxed guidance, time to effectively self-isolate afterwards should they come into contact with a positive person.
“Where there is evidence of serious anti-social or criminal behaviour, including in cases of domestic abuse, evictions can still proceed as normal.”
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 is an emergency law to protect renters in Scotland during coronavirus. The temporary law applies to all eviction notices issued on or after April 7 2020. The original end date was September 30. The Scottish Parliament has extended the law until March 31 with some changes to notice periods.