The ban on evictions in the private rented sector looks almost certain to be extended until March next year in Scotland – with the big question now being whether the rest of the UK will follow suit.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told the Scottish Parliament that she would like the extension to be enacted to stop what she describes as a possible “avalanche” of evictions because of Coronavirus-related arrears.
A formal consultation is still ongoing north of the border, and the parliament itself has yet to vote on the issue.
However, Sturgeon has told a Green Party member of the Scottish Parliament: “The [Scottish] government wants to extend that until March 2021. I can’t say that is definitely happening because it is up to this parliament to vote on that but if my party and his party vote for it then there should be no block on that.”
Unsurprisingly the campaigning charity Shelter – which has been at the forefront of a fierce campaign for an extension – has welcomed the possibility.
Its Scottish division took to Twitter to claim it as their success: “This helps thousands hit hard by the pandemic to keep a roof over their heads. This is a big win for our supporters and us.”
The Westminster government has been strident in its insistence that the ban on evictions in England and Wales will end on August 23 – under two weeks time – and has made provisions for amendments to court procedures to ensure the cases are dealt with fairly.
The Westminster government has also given the go-ahead for the operation of so-called Nightingale Court buildings – additional courts in converted premises – to accommodate the backlog of cases that have built up.
This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.