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Scottish landlords should not evict tenants struggling to make ends meet as a result of coronavirus

LANDLORDS in Scotland should not evict tenants facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, housing minister Kevin Stewart said today.

The SNP MSP said that the government was urgently considering what measures could be put in place to support people who may face eviction.

He was responding to a petition by Scottish tenants’ union Living Rent, calling for protections for those renting property.

Hundreds have backed a letter from Living Rent, which asks for a pause to be put in place on “any and all evictions in both the private and social rented sector” during the coronavirus pandemic.

It also asks for renters affected by coronavirus to be granted a “rent holiday” and collections paused, including for those unable to work or who need to self-isolate.

In a statement on its website, the union said: “We want to see that this crisis does not make life harder for those that are already suffering under austerity, universal-credit reforms and skyrocketing rent.

“While bankers, landlords and mortgaged home owners are being supported, the silence of the government regarding tenants and their needs is shocking.”

The government has now shown some support for this position, asking landlords to halt such evictions.

Mr Stewart said: “No landlord should evict a tenant because they have suffered financial hardship due to coronavirus and we are actively considering how best this can be addressed.

“This is part of our urgent consideration on what wider measures can be put in place to support people against the economic impacts of coronavirus and further announcements will be made.”

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