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Scotland’s tenant protections could be extended until 2021

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Scotland’s emergency measures introduced at the start of the Coronavirus crisis, including those preventing tenant evictions, could be extended until March 2021.

‘Some measures’, will expire at the end of September, but much of the emergency legislation must remain in place, Constitution Secretary Mike Russell told Scottish MPs this week.

Shelter Scotland immediately criticised the statement for its lack of precision.

The announcement fell short of providing the clarity and reassurance tenants worried about losing their home so desperately need, said Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson.

‘With unemployment rising and pressure on household finances increasing, the Government must take concrete steps to keep people in their homes. It is clear ministers recognise the social case for an extension of protections against eviction. But struggling tenants need definite answers and legal protections now, not more fear and uncertainty’.

Russell, who said the Scottish Government was giving ‘very careful consideration’ to the details of an extension of emergency measures, promised draft regulations would be laid before Parliament ‘before the end of this month’.

‘We’re mindful of the call from stakeholders that provisions of the legislation in areas such as housing have provided vital protections for individuals throughout the pandemic and that there is a continuing need for them. But we’re equally mindful of the commitments we’ve made – and which I have regularly reiterated – that such legislation must not be in place for a moment longer than is necessary’.