Buy-to-let landlords in Scotland have been left with little alternative but to serve 350 eviction notices since the beginning of lockdown, new figures show.
According to the Freedom of Information data obtained by independent media platform the Ferret from the Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service, 133 households were given notices in the period between the beginning of the pandemic and the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 legislation coming into effect.
A further 218 tenants have had eviction notices filed against them since 7 April, and are protected until 10 October.
Shelter Scotland now fears a potential “tidal wave of evictions” when courts are allowed to re-open, although there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.
Shelter Scotland has called for housing minister Kevin Stewart to extend the tenant eviction ban north of the border.
The charity wants to see tenants safeguarded until April 2021, despite the devastating impact this proposal would have on some landlords, if approved.
Alison Watson, director of Shelter Scotland, commented: “It’s unreasonable to put people out onto the streets when we’re still far from safety and it could affect their health and the health of other people.
“We just have to look to Aberdeen, where clients are coming to us in crisis, facing the threat of eviction when restrictions on movement are being reintroduced.
“We’ve argued all along that people whose cases have already begun should be covered by emergency protections.
“The Scottish government can’t leave it to tenants and landlords to sort out on their own. There is too much at stake and it is clear from the figures for eviction order applications that many tenants aren’t being offered flexibility by their landlord.”
A Scottish government spokesperson told the Ferret that housing minister Kevin Stewart will be writing to private tenants over the next few days
The spokesperson said: “No one should face eviction during this emergency period.
“By extending the notice period a landlord must give, we are ensuring that tenants have time to access available support in the short term and – if necessary – give them time to plan for the longer term, as we recover from this unprecedented crisis.”