Coronavirus Scotland Bill - What Landlords & Tenants Need to Know

Coronavirus Scotland Bill - What Landlords & Tenants Need to Know

Today, we want to highlight the Coronavirus Scotland Bill and how this will affect our landlords and residents as of the 6th of April.

The Bill, as expected, alters the way Landlords can recover possession of a tenanted property under all tenures.  There are two major alterations to the current process.

Firstly, the mandatory grounds for possession for Short Assured, Assured and Private Residential Tenancies, have all been made discretionary.  The ground cited must be established in the same manner as usual, however, if the tenant fails to remove at the end of the notice period, the First Tier Tribunal will be looking to establish the reasonableness of an eviction under the circumstances.  This change will also apply when possession is being sought over a Short Assured Tenancy under section 33 notice.  In that instance, although no reason must be cited for the notice to be served, should the tenants not remove, it will be at a Tribunal Chair’s discretion whether or not to approve an eviction.

The second key change mentioned in the Coronavirus Scotland Bill is that notice periods are being increased.  Below is a summary of the various notice periods that will apply to the various grounds of the different common tenures;

Private Residential Tenancies

(Please note an additional 48hrs notice in addition to those stated is required for delivery/receipt for all grounds as per present requirements and that notices are only affected if served Monday the 6th of April or after.)

  • 28 days – Ground 10 (tenant is no longer occupying the property)
  • 3 months – Grounds; 1 (landlord selling); 4 (landlord moving in); 5 (immediate family member or landlord moving in); 13 (criminal behaviour of tenant); 14 (anti-social behaviour of tenant); 15 (tenant association with someone guilty of criminal or anti-social behaviour); 16 (landlord ceasing to be registered); 17 (HMO license revoked)
  • 6 months – Grounds; 2 (lender intends to sell); 3 (refurbishment); 6 (change of use); 7 (required for religious purposes); 8 (tenant is no longer an employee of landlord); 9 (supported accommodation); 11 (breach of tenancy); 12 (rent arrears); 18 (overcrowding notice).

Assured Tenancies or Short Assured Tenancies

  • 2 months – Ground 9 (alternative accommodation is being made available)
  • 3 months – Grounds; 1 (landlord moving in); 15 (anti-social behaviour)
  • 6 months – All other grounds.

The modifications to recovery of possession processes are relative to the duration of the outbreak and most measures are due to expire on 30th September 2020.  Should the pandemic continue to have such wide ramifications on our way of life come September, there is provision for the bill to be extended for two further periods of six months.

There has been no alteration to tenant notice periods.

If you believe you will require vacant possession of your property, please discuss this with your property manager and we can help establish what your notice period will be.

The Cullen Property team is working from home.  We may be out of the office, but we are here for you. It’s business as unusual and the team are doing a marvellous job of adapting, planning and supporting our residents and clients with our usual sense of determination and professionalism. Never has this been more important. The guidance affecting our industry is changing regularly but please be assured we are doing our best to keep you updated along the way.

We wish you ongoing health and well-being at this challenging time.

 

Dawn Pianosi,
Head of Property Management

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