Christmas eviction ban as campaigners call for veto to last the winter

Evictions call: Andy WightmanEvictions call: Andy Wightman
Evictions call: Andy Wightman
Private tenants in Scotland will be saved from eviction over Christmas, the First Minister has confirmed.

Nicola Sturgeon announced today that new measure protects tenants from eviction for the next six weeks, from 11 December to the 22 January.

Campaigners and politicians welcomed the real ban, after months of campaigning for extended protection for tenants over the winter months.

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However, they have called for the ban to last longer through the winter months, saying a ban “should’t just be for Christmas.”

Livingston mum Lorraine Robinson Moseley and her disabled son who faced eviction just days before Christmas welcomed the announcement.

But the family still face uncertainty next month as their new home isn’t ready until the end of January.

Livingston MP Hannah Bardell said: “I welcome the announcement of the measures protecting tenants for the next six weeks. When that time is up there are still regulations that should be followed, that mean Lorraine’s family should not be evicted. There might be around 8 days when the emergency measures don’t apply any longer but I will still be pursuing their case, pushing to make sure the Council get work completed in time and pressing the solicitors and Sheriff Officers company to ask for a cast iron guarantee that the family will not be turfed out before their home is ready.”

Mrs Moseley’s plight was raised at FMQs by MSP Andy Wightman last week, as he continued a campaign for a winter evictions ban.

Mr Wightman said: “I am delighted that the First Minister has finally recognised the urgent need for more protections for tenants during this pandemic. These new regulations will ensure that no sheriff officers can kick down a tenant’s door and throw them out this winter.“This is welcome reprieve for tenants on evictions, but only brings Scotland in line with what has happened in England. “The pandemic has raised wider questions about whether anyone should be ordered to leave their home during a Scottish winter.”

Tenant Union Living Rent said protection should be extended. A spokesperson said: “We will continue to push for an extended ban on the enforcement of evictions under any tier three and four restrictions. An eviction ban shouldn’t just be for Christmas!”

Housing charity Shelter also welcomed the move but warned it's a short-term fix.

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