22 May 2020 02:35
The Coronavirus (Scotland) No 2 Bill was passed on Wednesday 20 May and is likely to receive Royal Assent imminently. The Bill introduces new emergency measures and adds to the changes made by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. Pre-action requirement for order for possession or eviction order on ground of rent arrears In considering whether it is reasonable to make an order for possession against a tenant on rent arrears, and where part of the arrears was incurred in the Coronavirus period, the First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber for Scotland will consider the extent to which the landlord has complied with pre-action requirements before raising the proceedings for possession. This could include, providing information to the tenant about the terms of the tenancy, rent arrears, and what steps have been taken by the landlord with a view to seeking arrangements with the tenant for payment of future rent, rent arrears and any other outstanding financial obligation under the tenancy. The requirements will be made by Scottish Ministers.
Student residential tenancies The Bill introduces a 28-day notice period for new agreements entered into by students. This will ensure that students entering into new accommodation contracts for the next academic year, but are then unable to take up the accommodation as planned due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, will be able to give notice and not be held liable for accommodation they are not using for the full contract term. Council Tax Exemption student accommodation Any dwellings occupied by students, as defined in the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) (Scotland) Order 1997, that due to COVID-19 became vacant on or after the 17 March 2020, and while the dwelling remains unoccupied, will be considered as exempt from council tax. LBTT – Additional Dwelling Supplement The period that a previous main residence can be sold, and repayment of Additional Dwelling Supplement claimed for certain transactions has been increased from 18 months to 36 months. Timetable The changes are intended as temporary measures for the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak. They will initially be in force until 30 September 2020. However, there are provisions for these to be extended for two six-month periods. Coronavirus (Scotland) No 2 Bill PROPERTYMARK RESOURCES Propertymark continues to support its members through the COVID-19 crisis, with a series of online resources for members including responsive webinars, fact sheets, email updates, and a COVID-19 operating checklist. View checklist