Commenting on the Scottish Government announcement this morning regarding support for landlords via a new interest-free loan fund, John Blackwood, Chief Executive of SAL, said:

“We are pleased the Scottish Government and other parties have listened to our concerns and welcome this first step in providing support for a sector which has fallen between the cracks of previous announcements.”

This announcement will provide some reassurance for our members, a lot of whom rely on income from rented properties and operate the same way as any other small business, but this needs to go a lot further.  For example, a lot of our members are retired and rely on rental income so unless that income is guaranteed, these older people will suffer real hardship.”

“It is also important that landlords and tenants work together throughout this crisis to prevent the threat of later eviction and rent arrears.  We do, however, remain convinced that in cases where anti-social behaviour can be conclusively demonstrated, action must be possible so landlords can fulfil our responsibilities to the wider community. We would welcome further clarification on this point in the future.”

The Minister’s words were:
“The Scottish Government will establish a fund that eligible private landlords will be able to apply to if they experience difficulty securing rent as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. They will be offered an interest-free loan with deferred payments. The intention is to take the pressure off landlords, in the short-term, if their tenants are having difficulty making rent payments. We expect to have that fund in place by the end of April, at the latest.

Later he said: “As I said earlier, we are looking at a landlord loan fund, which we will make available as soon as possible and for as long as it is needed. We hope that we can have all that in place by the end of April at the latest, as I said in my opening remarks. We are developing the detailed criteria around that. We will make such a loan available for as long as possible, for as long as it is needed. We envisage that that would be up to a year, and we will backdate it to 1 March.”