Shifting grounds for private renters in Scotland: Eviction after the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Act 2022 and during the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022

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Abstract

In April 2020, reforms were made to landlord and tenant law in Scotland in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. In the private rented sector, mandatory grounds of possession that were previously available to a landlord were removed, requiring all eviction actions to go before a tribunal to be assessed for reasonableness. Related notice periods that were to be provided to tenants before recovery of possession were also extended. Later in the pandemic, pre-action considerations for evictions were introduced. These reforms were designed to be time-limited, but with the passage of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Act these measures – under exception of the extension of the notice period – now form the baseline legal position as from 1 October 2022.

On 27 October 2022, the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 received Royal Assent. Although expressly time-limited in nature, this statute restricts evictions in both the private and social rented sectors in many circumstances for the period from 6 September 2022 until at least 31 March 2023. There are further changes in relation to rent increases and damages payable in the event of unlawful eviction (i.e. extrajudicial removal) of a residential occupier.

All of this makes for profound change in the particular context of the private residential tenancy, the modern vehicle for private sector lets in Scotland. This note offers some analysis of these statutory modifications and their implications for the recovery of possession by a private landlord.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalJuridical Review
Volume2022
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • private renters
  • Scotland
  • eviction
  • Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Act 2022
  • Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022

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