Struggling tenants will only be evicted as a last resort

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LANDLORDS have released statements reasserting that eviction will be a last resort for struggling tenants during the pandemic.

The statements which have been signed by representative bodies such as housing associations and private landlords, were welcomed by Housing Secretary Shona Robison.

Ministers are working to improve their understanding of evictions taking place and will launch a campaign to raise awareness of tenants’ rights at the end of the year.

For rent sign in shop window - Scottish News
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash. The evictions of tenants during the Coronavirus pandemic is to be made a last resort

Shona, said: “We have been clear from the outset that eviction action must be an absolute last resort, when all other avenues have been exhausted and a tenancy is no longer sustainable, so I welcome these joint statements from across the rental sector.”

This action was made after Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced a £10 million grant to support tenants struggling to pay rent because of the Coronavirus in December.

John Blackwood, Scottish Association of Landlords Chief Executive said: “The overwhelming majority of tenants and landlords are working together to sustain tenancies during the pandemic.

set of keys in door lock - Scottish News
Photo by Jaye Haych on Unsplash. The amount of money available through Discretionary Housing Payments increased by £8 million.

“We welcome the Scottish Government emphasising that tenants have a responsibility to pay their rent, and encourage landlords to work with their tenants and always treat eviction action as a last resort. Our members have been working closely with tenants to reduce rents and write off arrears wherever possible.”

The additional £10 million has taken the Scottish Government’s total support for tenants during the pandemic up to almost £39 million.

Sally Thomas, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations Chief Executive said: “Housing associations and co-operatives have always worked hard to help tenants who are struggling to pay their rent through tenancy sustainment services.

Person opening empty wallet - Scottish News
Photo by Emil Kalibradov on Unsplash. The Scottish Government’s total funding for tenants in the pandemic has been almost £39 million.

“This includes support to access benefits, budgeting advice, hardship funds and employability services – and this work has increased during the pandemic. They arrange manageable payment plans for tenants in rent arrears and will never evict someone who has agreed to, and is meeting, the conditions.”