New plans to extend emergency legislation in Scotland could include measures to prevent evictions.
The current ban on the enforcement of eviction orders in Scotland has already been extended to 30th September to protect tenants from proceedings in areas subject to level 3 or 4 restrictions – although the country is now in either the lower level 1 or 2 restrictions.
A Coronavirus Extension and Expiry Bill – set to be introduced later this month – would mean effectively extending this deadline to next March and would give parliament the option of agreeing to a further extension until the end of September 2022, however, it is still unclear whether this would cover evictions.
Coronavirus recovery secretary John Swinney says any emergency provisions which are no longer needed would be allowed to expire.
He told MSPs that the two pieces of Scottish emergency powers legislation passed by parliament last year contained “extraordinary measures which were required to respond to an emergency situation”.
These included major changes to how the court system operates, as well as provisions to keep businesses and public services running during the pandemic and temporary changes to the law for tenants and debtors.
He says it is now clear that some of these provisions will be required after the current expiry date of 30th September. Swinney said last month that further measures to protect people from eviction proceedings were “under close consideration”.
Scottish Labour want the government to extend the ban and have called for the government to extend it, highlighting tenants’ organisations such as Living Rent which have warned of a cliff edge of orders to evict.