Wed 2 Sep, 2020

Scottish Greens Housing Spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP has called for a winter eviction ban to be implemented, highlighting figures from the Housing and Property Chamber First-tier tribunal for Scotland which show that in the past week 28 eviction orders were granted by the housing tribunal despite SNP claims that evictions are effectively banned.

Official records reveal that the people evicted included a pregnant woman with three children, a woman who had lost her job due to covid-19, and a man in the process of applying for housing benefit who had been unable to find alternative accommodation. In total 24 or the 28 eviction orders were issued because of rent arrears.

Andy Wightman MSP said:

“The First Minister claimed this week that there is an “effective ban” on evictions yet records from the tribunal show that dozens of people have been issued with eviction notices in the last week alone. Official records reveal that one of those eviction notices was issued to a pregnant woman with three children. It is quite simply nonsense for the SNP to claim that there is a ban in place while people continue to be evicted.

“Scotland needs a real winter eviction ban. Such a ban exists in countries across Europe and were a similar approach adopted here it would provide an important safeguard for tenants at what is the most difficult time of the year for many. 

“The modest measures introduced by the Scottish Government to date will simply not solve the challenges experienced by thousands of renters in Scotland. The tenant hardship fund will help some renters, but many will shy away from taking on yet more debt. Additional measures to prevent evictions due to arrears accrued as a result of the pandemic are essential.

“Tenants’ rights have been sadly neglected by governments of all colours in Scotland over decades. The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for reform of housing policy, most notably recognising that whether it is rented or bought people deserve security in their own home.” 

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