The Health Protection (Coronavirus)(Restrictions and Requirements)(Miscellaneous Amendment)(Scotland)(NO. 2) Regulations 2021 has again extended the period during which eviction orders cannot be enforced. That means sheriff officers cannot remove tenants from properties while the ban is in place. Until 30th September 2021, you can only evict a tenant or be evicted (as the case may be) if (1) the property is in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area or (2) the eviction was granted due to criminal or antisocial behaviour. Moreover, Sheriff Officers must serve a Charge for Removing 14 days prior to the enforcement of any eviction. Furthermore, since regions may move between the Tiers with little notice, we are finding that Sheriff Officers in practice are reluctant to instigate enforcement proceedings at all during this period. In addition, there is no guarantee that the eviction ban will not be extended again nearer the time.
Nevertheless, landlords can still serve notice on tenants during the eviction ban (albeit the Scottish Government has brought in new rules which extend the notice period required before an action for eviction can begin in most circumstances). The length of notice that landlords must give tenants depends on when the notice was served and the grounds being used. In most circumstances, the extension means landlords must give tenants at least 6 months notice albeit there are some exceptions (e.g. only 28 days notice is needed when the tenant has engaged in criminal or antisocial behaviour or no longer lives at the property). Moreover, the eviction ban does not prevent new or current eviction hearings taking place or eviction orders being granted in Scotland. It is just the enforcement of the eviction orders that cannot be progressed.
If you need further advice on obtaining or opposing evictions in Scotland, please do not hesitate to call us on 0131 563 7596.