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Scotland to increase eviction notice period to six months

A bill is set to be passed which increases the minimum notice period for private and social tenants to up to six months in Scotland.

Most of the measures in the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill will expire in six months but can be extended by the Scottish Parliament for two periods of six months.

The bill is set to pass through Holyrood today.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, said at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh: “Among a number of other things, that legislation will ensure that no-one can be evicted from their home during this crisis.

“It will increase to six months in most cases the minimum period of notice a landlord must give to a tenant before eviction.

“The legislation will apply to tenants in both the private sector and the social housing sector and will provide all tenants with addbiitional security at what is an immensely difficult time.”

Robin Blacklock, chair of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “We welcome this extraordinary bill, which supports the public health emergency and recognises the economic challenges we are facing due to COVID-19.

“The SPF is urging its members to do as much as possible to support society in general during this unprecedented crisis.

“We are encouraging all members to put the welfare of the nation at the forefront of all decisions, and we are recommending landlords take a pragmatic approach where possible.

“We believe that setting a level playing field for deferring commercial rental payments and any irritancy proceedings is sensible in the current circumstances.

“Leading members have already been supporting tenants to manage rental obligations as the economy adapts to the restrictions on population movements, and as residents and businesses struggle with financial obligations through no fault of their own.

“However, we must also recognise that landlords are businesses and employers that depend on cash-flow to stay in operation and maintain jobs.

“Many commercial property owners in Scotland will also have significant responsibilities to their investors including pension funds.

“Landlords also need to be supported and should not be penalised with empty property rates charges for vacant premises that they cannot re-let during this crisis.”