Emergency measures for social tenants
Protection for tenants
If you have a social housing tenancy (a “Scottish secure tenancy” or a “short Scottish secure tenancy”) emergency measures have been brought in to respond to the impact of the cost of living.
The emergency measures apply to most tenancies in the private and social rented sectors, college and university halls of residence, and Purpose Build Student Accommodation (PBSA).
From 6 September 2022, there is a temporary cap on rent increases during tenancies. The cap is set at 0% until at least 31 March 2023.
Most social sector rents have already been set until 1 April 2023 and will not increase before then.
The Scottish Ministers have a duty to keep the emergency measures under review. They also have the power to vary or extend the rent cap while these emergency measures are in place.
The rent cap could be extended for a maximum of 2 further 6 month periods after 31 March 2023.
Temporary eviction pause
There is currently a temporary pause on the enforcement of evictions, except in certain cases.
The eviction pause may apply to you if:
- your landlord gave you an eviction notice on or after 6 September 2022
- your landlord gave you an eviction notice before 6 September 2022 but the application was not accepted by the Court before 28 October 2022
This means that even if the Court grants the eviction, your landlord may need to wait before they can ask sheriff officers to enforce it.
The maximum length of time that sheriff officers will not enforce an eviction is 6 months. This could be sooner if the temporary eviction pause ends before 6 months.
If sheriff officers are not allowed to enforce the eviction, you do not need to move out of the property until the time when the eviction decree is enforced.
An eviction decree can still be enforced in certain circumstances, for example to protect other tenants and the local community.
The pause does not apply if you are being evicted because:
- you have engaged in antisocial or criminal behaviour
- you have abandoned the property
- you are no longer an employee of the landlord
- the property you live in is subject to demolition or requires substantial work and you have been offered suitable alternative accommodation
- you have substantial rent arrears of £2,250 or more when the court issues the eviction decree
If an eviction decree is granted by the Court for any of these reasons, the eviction can be carried out as normal.
When the eviction pause does not apply
The eviction pause does not apply to your tenancy if your landlord:
- gave you a valid notice of proceedings (legal document which starts the eviction process) before 6 September 2022
- gave you the correct amount of notice for your tenancy type
- had already applied to the Court for an eviction decree before 28 October 2022 and the Court has accepted the application (even if the Court process has not finished yet).
This means that if the Court grants your landlord an eviction decree, your landlord can enforce this. If you don’t move out once an eviction decree is granted, sheriff officers can be sent to the property to remove you.
If you cannot pay your rent
If you are able to pay rent as normal you must continue to do so. If you are unable to pay the full amount, you should pay as much of your rent as you can.
If you are having difficulty paying your rent or you are at risk of eviction you should contact your landlord as soon as possible.
You may also be able to get financial support, such as:
- Universal Credit
- Discretionary Housing Payment
- help from a local council through the Scottish Welfare Fund
Visit the cost of living website for information on help available to help you with energy, housing and other costs.
If you think that you may still have problems paying your rent you should speak to your landlord about this as soon as possible.
Notice of Proceedings for Recovery of Possession
If your landlord issues you with a 'Notice of Proceedings for Recovery of Possession', it's important to know your rights.
Most tenants in social rented housing have a Scottish secure tenancy agreement.
Find out your rights if you have a Scottish secure tenancy agreement and your landlord has told you they are going to take action to evict you.
Some tenants have a short Scottish secure tenancy agreement.
Find out your rights if you have a short Scottish secure tenancy agreement and your landlord has told you they are going to take action to evict you.
Other advice and support
Shelter Scotland can give advice and support on rent arrears and other housing issues.
If you are in financial difficulty, visit the cost of living website
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