Worried about being evicted during Covid-19? “There was already a court case to evict me going on before Covid-19” During the first lockdown last year all eviction cases were paused, however cases are now being heard again. The First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property) Chamber decides on evictions from private tenancies – that is where the landlord is not the council, a housing association or supported accommodation. If you have worries about being evicted get in touch now and we will give you advice about how to defend your case at the tribunal. The Sheriff Court deals with all other eviction cases, including cases where the landlord is the council or a housing association. During the first lockdown all cases were paused, however these cases are now back in court. If your case was paused you should have received notification that your case is returning to court. If that happens you should seek advice immediately. It is likely that any hearing will be by telephone or video call due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. If you have a case which has been paused or have received notice that your landlord has raised eviction proceedings get in touch now for advice and representation. Have evictions been banned by the Scottish Government due to Coronavirus? The Scottish Government has brought in legislation to prevent the enforcement of eviction orders in Tier 3 and Tier 4 areas until 31st March 2021. This applies to both private and social rented tenancies. This means that if a landlord has obtained an eviction order from the Sheriff Court or Tribunal, in most cases they will not be able to physically remove tenants from their home until after 31st March 2021. The eviction ban does not apply in all cases, for example if the eviction order was granted due to antisocial or criminal behaviour it can still be used. Get in touch now if your landlord has told you that you have to leave your home. In addition to the current ban on enforcement, the Scottish Government has made changes to the process landlords must follow to obtain an eviction order and has extended the notice period in most eviction cases. The new notice periods apply only to cases where a notice asking you to leave was served on or after 7th April 2020. If your landlord served notice after 7th April 2020 then in most cases, including eviction on the grounds of rent arrears, your landlord must now give you at least 6 months’ notice, if they want to end your tenancy. However, depending on the ground of eviction your landlord seeks to rely on, the notice required could be as little as 28 days. Get in touch now if you have received a notice for advice on whether your landlord has met the legal requirements for a valid notice and given you a sufficient notice period. If you have an eviction case calling in the Tribunal, the Tribunal must now consider your personal circumstances and how being evicted will affect you before they make a decision about whether or not to grant an eviction order. This does not mean that an eviction order will not be granted during this period, but you will have a chance to explain your personal circumstances to the Tribunal who will be required to take them into account. If you have been given a notice to leave your tenancy, or you have worries about being evicted/being allowed to stay in your tenancy, then contact us for advice immediately and we will see what we can do to help sort things out. We have another page here with more information if you are worried that you might become homeless. This is intended as a guide to the situation in January 2021 and not as an authoritative statement and interpretation of the law. If you have any questions or would like further information please call 0808 129 0522 or email [email protected].