Thu 3 Dec, 2020

This is welcome reprieve for tenants on evictions, but only brings Scotland in line with what has happened in England. Andy Wightman

Private tenants in Scotland will get new protections from eviction over Christmas and New Year, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon agreed to ensure that no sheriff officer can evict someone from their home this winter.

The new regulations come after consistent pressure from Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman, who pushed for greater protections for tenants in the COVID emergency laws in May, and whose campaign for a winter eviction ban gathered over 1,000 signatures.

At last week’s FMQ, Mr Wightman raised the plight of a constituent in West Lothian who is facing eviction.

Responding, Andy Wightman said: “I am delighted that the First Minister has finally recognised the urgent need for more protections for tenants during this pandemic. These new regulations will ensure that no sheriff officers can kick down a tenant’s door and throw them out this winter.

“This is welcome reprieve for tenants on evictions, but only brings Scotland in line with what has happened in England. It would have been far better if ministers had listened to my proposals in May for a full evictions ban so that no one would be getting served notices during this crisis.

“As we look towards creating a fairer post-COVID Scotland, the pandemic has raised wider questions about whether anyone should be ordered to leave their home during a Scottish winter. France, for example, does not allow it to happen in a normal year.”

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