Scotland introduces Christmas eviction ban

The Scottish Government has announced a halt to the enforcement of evictions. The announcement was made on the 3rd of December. ;
Scottish Flag

The Scottish government has announced a halt to the enforcement of evictions. The announcement was made on the 3rd of December.

Evictions from rented properties will be halted over the festive season, until mid-January, except in the cases of serious anti-social or criminal behaviour, including in cases of domestic abuse.

Previous rules that were in place, meant people who had received notice before the pandemic, were able to be evicted through December.

Why has this ban been introduced?

The Scottish government have supplied three reasons for this ban.

The first, to give extra protection to tenants during the pandemic.

This builds on a previous measure with this objective, which was to increase the “Discretionary Housing Fund”. The fund was revised to be up to £19m, to provide extra housing support to those in need. Scotland also proposes to introduce a tenant hardship loan fund, promised in the new year.

Secondly, the Scottish government are aiming to reduce the burden on local authorities during this time, who would be responsible for housing people made homeless through evictions.

Thirdly, they are reinforcing that it would give people the option to more easily self-isolate in the run-up to Christmas.

Should people have the intention of forming extended bubbles during the relaxation of restrictions between the 23rd and 27th of December, they can do so with more confidence.

Details of the ban

The regulations that have been introduced prevent eviction orders being brought between the 11th of December and the 22nd of January 2021, except for serious cases of anti-social behaviour.

This effectively means that with the procedures already in place in Scotland, evictions will not be taking place until March 2021.

Kevin Stuart, Housing Minister for Scotland commented:

“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 rest of the UK

In comparison, the UK Government had banned mandatory evictions in England between March and September and requested a “winter truce” from bailiffs until the 11th of January.

However, contrary to Scotland’s ban, the UK government is only introducing this as “guidance” as they have previously placed a ban on possession notices that do not pre-date the pandemic.

We took a closer look at England and Wale’s eviction restrictions earlier this year.

To read the full announcement on the Scotland Christmas eviction ban, click here.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.