Covid extended notice periods to be scrapped
SAL is pleased to inform members that the Scottish Government has listened to our concerns and has laid legislation before the Scottish Parliament confirming its intention to allow the longer notice periods on grounds for eviction, which were introduced at the start of the pandemic, to expire on 30 March 2022. This means that the government’s intention is that from 31 March 2022 the notice periods for eviction will revert back to the original requirements in place prior to the pandemic.
John Blackwood, SAL chief executive, welcomed the decision saying “I’m delighted that for once the Scottish Government has acted upon the concerns of SAL and others that these unreasonable notice periods are no longer required.
They often resulted in tenants racking up rent arrears that they remain liable for and could never afford to repay – that situation is bad for everyone. I’m pleased to report that the majority of landlords and tenants have worked well together during the pandemic to avoid eviction action being taken at all and I am glad to see the Scottish Government recognise that these protections against eviction are now not needed.”
The regulations which put this change in place contain a transitional provision which prevents a landlord who has already served notice to end a tenancy, from serving a new notice on the same eviction ground with a shorter notice period post 30 March. A fresh notice with a shorter notice period can only be issued if notice is being served on a different eviction ground.
If you have a tenancy agreement which refers to the longer covid notice periods, you can still serve notice using the shorter notice periods from 31 March 2022 onwards.
Guidance on the procedure to follow to serve notice from 31 March 2022 can be found in SAL’s factsheet on serving notice. Please note that all evictions will remain discretionary for the time being and it is likely that this provision will be made permanent – click here to see our earlier news item on this.