Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed the introduction of a six week temporary halt to enforcement of evictions from rented properties until mid-January.

This move will give extra protection to tenants during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It will reduce the burden on local authorities, who have a duty to rehouse people made homeless through evictions, and will also make it easier for people to self-isolate if they choose to form extended bubbles during the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions over Christmas.

Regulations will now be introduced that will prevent eviction orders being brought between 11 December and 22 January, with the exception of cases of serious anti-social behaviour.

The SNP MSP for Cunninghame South said: “This is not the climate in which people should be having to worry about their living arrangements.

“At a time where health and housing services are already working flat out to handle the impact of the pandemic, this pause to evictions will offer peace of mind to tenants and ease pressure on local authorities.

“Be sure that you are aware of your rights as a tenant which you can find on the MyGov website should you need any guidance.”

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “We took early action to, in effect, halt eviction action until March 2021 due to the pandemic. We have supported tenants throughout this difficult period through a number of actions including increasing our Discretionary Housing Fund from £11 million to £19 million to provide additional housing support and shortly we will introduce our Tenant Hardship Loan Fund.

“We are now taking this additional, temporary step after carefully assessing the unique housing situation created by the pandemic.

“It will allow tenants who are facing eviction, and may decide to take the opportunity to form extended bubbles over the festive period in line with relaxed guidance, time to effectively self-isolate afterwards should they come into contact with a positive person.

“Where there is evidence of serious anti-social or criminal behaviour, including in cases of domestic abuse, evictions can still proceed as normal.”

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 is an emergency law to protect renters in Scotland during coronavirus.

The temporary law applies to all eviction notices issued on or after 7 April 2020. The original end date was 30 September 2020. The Scottish Parliament has extended the law until 31 March 2021 with some changes to notice periods.

Further information on tenants ’rights during the pandemic can be accessed here: https://www.mygov.scot/private-rental-rights/