Kevin Stewart, Scotland’s Housing Minister has published an open letter to landlords and letting agents asking for their support and calling for a 6 month payment holiday for all buy to let mortgages and an extension for mandatory ground for tenant eviction from 3 to 6 months. The Scottish Government wants to ensure that no tenant is evicted due financial difficulties caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Plans to extend period for grounds for evictions
The Scottish Government announced that they plan to make a temporary change to legislation enabling the grounds for eviction for rent arrears under a PRT to be extended from 3 to 6 months. This would mean that a tenant would have to have not paid rent for 6 months before the First-tier Tribunal could begin proceedings to evict the tenant; thereby giving tenants security that they can continue to live in their property regardless of any financial uncertainty they face over the next 6 months as a consequence of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Plea to UK finance and Government to offer Buy to let mortgage holidays
The Scottish Government also made calls for UK Finance and UK Government to extend mortgage holidays offered to homeowners to include buy-to-let landlords. They also requested that these mortgage holidays should be increased from 3 to 6 months to help landlords navigate through these uncertain financial time. Aileen Campbell MSP has added further support to landlords; “Let me be clear we do not want private sector landlords to be disadvantaged by a lack of rent.”. There is a need to get the balance right between protecting tenants while ensuring landlords can continue to provide housing and so extending this financial support to landlords means that they can in turn support those tenants living in their properties.
The pace of change over the past week has been unprecedented leaving landlords and tenants in intensely unchartered waters however we hope to hear definitive guidance and support from the Scottish and UK Government within the next 24-48 hours to ensure that we can continue to keep roofs over people’s heads and to keep landlords and tenants safe.
Andrew Whitmey – Founder Director