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Six-month notice period for social sector arrears cases extended

Scottish Government confirms there is to be an extension, from April until the end of September.

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The Scottish Government has confirmed that there is to be an extension, from April until the end of September, of the six-month notice period for social sector arrears cases. These notice provisions apply across the whole of Scotland, regardless of the level of Covid-19 restrictions.

This is a separate issue to the current suspension of evictions, which is seen by the Scottish Government as a health protection measure and so applies only in level 3 and 4 areas – which currently comprises the whole country. SFHA expects the Scottish Government to take a decision shortly on whether or not to extend the ban on evictions beyond the end of March, however, no information on this has been provided as yet.

Sally Thomas, SFHA Chief Executive, said: “SFHA had lobbied for the notice periods for arrears cases to be reduced to three months to support a phased return to the original position of one month, and we provided evidence to the Scottish Government regarding the effects the extended notice period is having on our members and their tenants.

“Certain tenants who have a history of non-payment of rent, but do not engage with their landlord, are building up levels of personal debt which they may never be able to repay and often total several thousand pounds. Non-payment of rent can have serious consequences for other tenants and communities as housing associations may have less funds for investing in their homes and services.

“We will continue to work with the Scottish Government to achieve a fair and workable transition to the original notice period.”

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