The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act - Update

Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 - Update

24th March 2021


The Scottish Government has announced that the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, which was due to expire on the 31st of March, has now been extended to the 30th of September. This is to ensure security of tenure for tenants in Scotland during COVID-19, with current measures being extended in light of the continued Covid19 situation. 

What does this mean in practice? 

The notice periods before a Private Landlord can apply for an eviction order are longer - in most cases, 6 months’ notice must be given.  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 the Private Rented Sector First Tier Tribunal before a tenant could be lawfully evicted.  

Eviction orders which have already been granted will not be enforced until at least the 30th of September. 

Where a private landlord is looking to evict due to rent arrears that occurred after the 27th of May 2020, they must complete “Pre-action Requirements”. 

All eviction grounds for private tenancies are currently discretionary – this means that the First Tier Tribunal are not automatically required to grant an eviction order to the landlord and will consider all evictions on a case-by-case basis.  

What about ongoing cases in the Sheriff Court? 

For social tenants, if a case is already in the court system, it is likely that their case has been ‘paused’ (sisted). However the case remains active so may be called back to court.  

For new action, no first court dates are being set at present, however social landlords can still submit paperwork to commence court action to pursue eviction.

What should i do if I am struggling to afford my rent and/or rent arrears payments? 

It is essential that you continue to pay your rent - even in light of this legislation. If you are in rent arrears, you should also continue to pay any pre-existing payment plans. If you are struggling to make payments or your circumstances have changed, you can contact Frontline Fife. We can: 

  • Speak to your landlord to negotiate affordable payments of rent and arrears. 
  • Provide lay representation at the Sheriff Court for social landlord rent arrears cases. 
  • Provide advice on the eviction process, ensure notices are correct and your tenancy rights are being observed by your landlord. 
  • Refer for specialist assistance and support.

Please be aware that the Coronavirus legislation is a temporary measure to give tenants time to address issues and prevent homelessness during this difficult time, and anyone experiencing issues at this time should not delay in seeking assistance and addressing any issues they are having paying their rent.