The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 – What Does It Mean for Evictions?

14th April 2020 


The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament. It seeks to protect people who rent from both social and private landlords from facing eviction during the COVID 19 outbreak. 


Why has the Scottish Government introduced this emergency legislation? 

The Government recognises that COVID-19 and the lockdown restrictions can have significant impact on people’s lives including home insecurity due to loss of income.  COVID 19 may also prevent some people to maintain their payments towards rent and arrears and may also place people at risk of homelessness. Therefore, the Government has introduced new legislation to postpone eviction action throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. 


How does this Act help? 

Generally, in Scotland, a landlord is not allowed to evict a tenant without following a set of procedures which includes providing a notice period to advise when they are seeking to take back the property and why.  This Act increases the notice period from 3 to 6 months to prevent evictions taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic.  


What does this mean in practice? 

During this period, a landlord can still start the process for eviction but the eviction action itself cannot take place until this temporary extended notice period has elapsed. Even after this, the case would require to be heard at a tribunal or court before a tenant could be lawfully evicted. 


What about ongoing cases in the Sheriff Court? 

If a tenant’s case is already in the court system, the courts are acting on Government advice not to evict and cases are being ‘paused’ (sisted) until after the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that, although the case remains active, there will be no further hearings at court until further notice.  

It is essential, that tenants continue to make rent and arrears payments as agreed during this time.  If there is any issue with this, then tenants should first contact their landlord as soon as possible to discuss this or seek professional help.  


We can Help 

Frontline Fife provides free, impartial advice and lay representation for arrears and eviction issues and continue to provide support during these difficult times.   

If you or anyone you know needs advice or help with their current situation, or any other housing issue, please contact us as soon as possible on 01592 800430 or at