Scottish housing advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Paying rent during the pandemic

If you have accrued any arrears on your rent you can access advice on steps to take. It is important to act quickly when you have rent arrears so that your landlord does not try to evict you.

See the Help with rent arrears pages for advice on what you can do.

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Check if you're entitled to benefits

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You’ll need information on your household’s:

  • income and savings

  • outgoings, such as rent

  • existing benefits and pensions

  • council tax bill

Get help managing your money

Services that can help with budgeting, applying for benefits, and debt:

'Pre-action requirements' for private sector rent arrears

From 30 September 2020, if you live in a private tenancy and the landlord wants to evict you because of rent arrears they have to follow a set of pre-action requirements before they can start eviction action.

This applies to rent arrears cases for private residential tenancies, assured tenancies and short assured tenancies, where:

  • some or all of the arrears accrued after 7 April 2020, and

  • the landlord applies to the tribunal for an eviction hearing on or after 6 October 2020

Your landlord must follow these steps before they can start a rent arrears eviction action:

  • give you clear information on:

    • the terms of your tenancy agreement

    • the amount of rent you owe

    • your rights in the eviction action (including information about the pre-action requirements)

    • how you can access information and advice on financial support and debt management

  • In addition, your landlord must make ‘reasonable efforts’ to agree a repayment plan

  • Your landlord must also take reasonable consideration of:

    • any steps you’ve taken which might affect your ability to repay the arrears within a reasonable period of time

    • the extent to which you’ve complied with any repayment agreement

    • any changes to your circumstances that are likely to impact your ability to comply with a repayment agreement

If your landlord applies to evict you due to rent arrears and you think they have missed any of these steps then you should tell the tribunal this at the hearing. The tribunal need to take this into consideration when deciding whether to grant an eviction order.

If your landlord is evicting you and you need help with this contact a solicitor or contact an adviser.

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 30 March 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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