Evacuation ban extended until the end of March: Coronavirus Scotland

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As Nicola Sturgeon has stated, a ban on evictions during the Covid 19 crisis will be officially extended by two months.

The measure, which had been implemented before Christmas, was due to expire on 22 January, but the First Minister announced that the security would be extended until 31 March at least.

Ms. Sturgeon said that only in limited situations, such as anti-social activity, would evictions be carried out.

After Ms. Sturgeon said Monday in Holrood that she supported extending the measure, the extension was expected to be officially rubber-stamped by the Scottish government.

Festive eviction ban declared by Nicola Sturgeon

The First Minister said the latest Covid 19 strain during the daily coronavirus briefing meant that there was an even greater public health need to keep people in their homes.

“It has become even more important to prevent individuals from having to find a new home or maybe move to another household,” she said.

That’s why eviction prevention schemes are being expanded in both Level 3 and Level 4 areas until March 31, which is, of course, the whole of Scotland at the moment.

“And if necessary, the rules can be further extended after that date.”

She said the “vast majority” of evictions would be prevented by these laws, with anti-social or illegal activity among the few exceptions.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart replied to the Scottish Parliament in writing, saying that next week the legislation will be put before Holyrood.

He said, “This unprecedented measure will not be taken lightly; we know that it is necessary to balance the rights of tenants and landlords.”

“Landlords are also facing uncertainty and financial difficulties due to the pandemic, which is why these schemes are being reviewed every 21 days.”

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The Scottish Green Party had earlier called for an extension of the ban on evictions.

MSP Ross Greer said, “When it comes to tenants’ rights, Scotland is decades behind many of our European neighbors.”

Across the continent, protections such as winter eviction prohibitions are common.

It would be unacceptable to evict people from their homes in the cold of winter, pandemic or not.

“So while we warmly welcome the extension of the emergency ban, the Greens want the housing minister to go further and ensure winter evictions are permanently banned.”

“Nina Ballantyne, Citizens Advice Scotland spokesperson on social justice, said, “We are pleased to see the Scottish Government reacting to the concerns we have repeatedly posed about how vulnerable tenants are in this pandemic through the Private Rented Sector Resilience Group.

It is simply the right thing to do to avoid evictions and prevent homelessness during this renewed period of crisis. In order to protect residents, it’s the best thing to do, but it’s also the right thing for public health to do.

She added: “The experience of Scotland’s Citizens Advice network clearly demonstrates that tenants struggling with rent need time to get advice and assistance.” In order to tackle rent arrears, this extra time would allow more individuals to get advice, seek financial support and agree repayment plans or rent reductions.

“However, many tenants, including students, people who cannot access public funds and others who are not eligible for Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Voluntary Housing Allowance, are still unable to access grants to help them pay their rent. We hope to continue to work with the Scottish Government on further options for these groups so that no group of tenants is left behind.”

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