Renters in Scotland and Wales offered financial support as Covid-19 eviction bans end

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The Scottish and Welsh governments have announced new support measures for tenants, because the bans on eviction proceedings ended.

Both countries have launched hardship funds for tenants can not pay their rent, and Scottish landlords have pledged to only take eviction action as ‘a last resort’.

Here, Which? outlines the most recent news on eviction bans and tenant support around the UK.

Eviction bans round the UK

Last year, the united kingdom nations gone to live in offer tenants greater protection from eviction considering the Covid-19 outbreak.

These protections involved pausing evictions from being enforced by bailiffs in the rented sector.

The eviction ban in England came to a close on 31 May, with the Welsh ban following suit on 30 June.

The eviction ban in Scotland has been extended until a minimum of March next year, however it only applies to areas subject to level 3 or 4 restrictions.

All council areas in Scotland are presently in level zero, a couple of.

 

How much notice do landlords need to give?

Governments across the United kingdom has extended the amount of notice landlords must give their tenants before starting eviction proceedings.

  • England: landlords commencing eviction proceedings have to give four months’ notice of eviction except ‘within the most serious of cases’, such as instances of domestic abuse or anti-social behaviour.
  • Scotland: the eviction ban will run until at least 31 March 2022 for areas under level three or level four restrictions. Landlords commencing eviction proceedings must give six months’ notice in most cases. They can give three months’ notice when they or their family intend to move in to the property or they've their licence revoked, or 28 days’ notice if the tenant has engaged in criminal behaviour or has already moved out.
  • Wales: landlords starting eviction proceedings must give six months’ notice with the exception of cases of anti-social behaviour or domestic violence.
  • Northern Ireland: there isn't any ban on eviction enforcement in Northern Ireland, but Landlords must give tenants 12 weeks’ notice before starting eviction proceedings until 30 September.

New support choices for tenants during Covid-19

In the previous few days, the Scottish and Welsh governments have both launched new support measures for tenants in rent arrears.

Scotland

The Scottish government has launched a lb10m pound fund designed for tenants facing financial hardships because of Covid-19.

In addition, Scottish councils, housing associations and landlord groups have signed some pot pledge to simply evict tenants as a last measure.

The Scottish Association of Landlords has urged landlords and letting agents to provide flexible, longer-term repayment intends to tenants can not pay their rent.

Wales

The Welsh government has also introduced a new tenant hardship grant for those who have failed to pay rent throughout the pandemic.

The lb10m fund is going to be available for people who’ve fallen a minimum of 8 weeks behind on their own rent because the start of the pandemic.

It is designed for people who’ve gone into rent arrears as a result of loss of income, for example those who’ve been furloughed, seen a reduction in the work they do and have only been able to claim statutory sick pay when ill with Covid-19.

Existing measures for tenants around the UK

These new rules stand alongside existing measures already in place around the UK.

If you’re not currently earning, you might be in a position to be eligible for a financial support. Housing Allowance and Universal Credit have been increased to cover housing costs.

In England, the government makes lb180m available to councils to supply discretionary housing payments to tenants struggling to pay their rent. Check with your council to ascertain if you’re eligible.

Tenants in Wales may be able to apply for Tenant Saver Loans provided by credit unions, and renters with low incomes in Scotland might be able to claim Local Housing Allowance.

Tenant rights during Covid-19

Your to live in a safe property is unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Your landlord is still responsible for conducting essential maintenance and with urgent issues (for example if the boiler stops working).

If your tenancy agreement is due an end and you’re concerned about moving throughout the pandemic, speak to your landlord regarding your options.

Some landlords might be prepared to discuss a month-by-month agreement because of the current circumstances.

Buy-to-let landlord advice during Covid-19

Landlord responsibilities are unaffected by Covid-19, so any essential repairs must be conducted, and planned gas and electrical safety inspections ought to be arranged wherever possible.

If for whatever reason landlords can’t have essential work completed (for example when the tenant is self-isolating), you should document their attempts to achieve this in case the council requests evidence.

Landlords can now execute viewings and discrete homes, but must follow the government’s guidelines. These including social distancing and wearing a face covering.

If a current tenant is isolating or has Covid-19 symptoms, viewings won't be permitted.

This story was originally published in March 2021, but has since been updated. The last update was on 30 June 2021 with news of new measures for tenants in Scotland and Wales.

 

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