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SolicitorRM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4175
Experience:  Director and Principal Solicitor. UK
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I'm a landlord and I'm looking for some advice on a tenant.

Customer Question

Good morning, I'm a landlord and I'm looking for some advice on a tenant.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Scotland
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: So far my tenant should be moving out on monday. This has been postponed already many times. He is now stating he can't move out on Monday as his daughter has a cough. He can't get a test booked for her so he is going to isolate for 10 days. So now I have to wait a further week to gain access
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The tenant is in arrears, we have had many issues in the past with him. I just need him out as quickly as possible. Just wondering if the COVID restrictions he is claiming are fact or if he can infact move. He has the keys to his new property already so I dont understand why he can't isolate there if need be.
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  SolicitorRM replied 7 days ago.

Hi thank you for your enquiry and patience, I am reviewing the question now for you.

Expert:  SolicitorRM replied 7 days ago.

I am sorry to hear of your situation and many landlords are being faced with this dilemma. The covid restrictions yes are true only in the sense that if he continues to refuse until further notice you will not be able to issue possession proceedings against them. You will be able to pursue them for the rent arrears and any damage to your home once they are out. I hope this helps and all the best.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok thanks. So he indeed can remain in the property due to his child's cough for a further week? So this could go on inevitably? Another possible symptom from another family member etc. The child stays half time with tenant and other half with mum. Are these COVID restrictions in place until March 2021?
Expert:  SolicitorRM replied 7 days ago.

You are welcome. It is really a difficulty situation, however if they are not paying rent and you are having financial difficulty as a result the scottish government has a facility for loans to landlords who are suffering directly as a result of tenants who are not paying rent due to covid. The government statement on the covid-19 situation is below for you and it says what to expect:

We have been clear that no landlord should evict a tenant because they have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19 and we expect landlords to be flexible with tenants facing financial hardship and signpost them to the sources of financial support available.

In recognition of the severity of the situation we now find the country in, the Scottish Government has passed emergency legislation to protect renters in Scotland during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 protects tenants in Scotland from any eviction action for up to 6 months. This will apply to both the private and social rented housing sectors and will ensure the position is absolutely clear for all landlords and tenants in Scotland.

This new legislation temporarily extends the amount of notice landlords must give when ending a tenancy. In most cases landlords will now need to give tenants 6 months' notice, unless they are ending the tenancy for particular reasons, including antisocial and criminal behaviour by the tenant, or where the landlord or their family need to move into the property where the notice period is 3 months.

The legislation also temporarily makes all grounds for eviction in the private rented sector discretionary, ensuring that the Tribunal will be able to use discretion and take all factors relating to the impact of COVID-19 has had on both the landlord and tenant into account before deciding whether to issue an eviction order or not.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you for that. My tenant has sourced a council property, which i believe he has access to already. So he currently has 2 properties, one definitely paid by the local authority. Ours I am not sure if he claims benefits or not. Surely this is something to consider?
Expert:  SolicitorRM replied 7 days ago.

If he has a property and it is vacant for him to take occupation then he is being very unreasonable and should move. He should get the daughter tested and would only stay if positive where they would need to self-isolate in your home for the 2 weeks. His situation is not due to not being able to pay rent or not having a home to go to so he abusing the regulation and you may want to say to him if he has no evidence that there is requirement to self isolate you will have no option but to advise the local authority. The courts regrettably are not entertaining possession proceedings at the moment.