As explained in previous blogs, the temporary changes introduced by the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 on 31 October 2022 ended on 31 March 2024. So, whilst new rules come into play for adjudicating rent disputes, the end of the 2022 Act also means the expiry of the provisions that relate to eviction and possession actions and some other changes.

What does this mean for evictions?

The delay in enforcement of an order for eviction or possession will no longer apply. From 31 March 2024, a landlord will no longer require to wait until the earlier of

1) 6 months from the date that the eviction/possession order is granted, or

2) the expiry or suspension of the provisions of the 2022 Act, to serve a charge or evict the tenant based on the eviction and possession grounds not exempted from the moratorium.

That means from 1 April 2024 all orders issued by the Tribunal will be in the same form as was issued prior to the 2022 Act coming into force. That means the orders will again state that the earliest date that the order can be enforced is after the 30 day appeal period has expired albeit the Tribunal retains a discretionary right to order delay in enforcement of the eviction or possession order.

What about the “temporary” grounds for eviction?

The temporary grounds relating to “financial hardship” and “substantial arrears” introduced by the 2022 Act (cases 1A and 8A of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 Act, grounds 1A and 8A of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 and grounds 1A, 4A and 12A of the Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Act 2016) will not apply from 1 April 2024.

What if I have used one of those “temporary” grounds already?

The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland Act 2022 (Savings Provisions) Regulations 2024  that came into force on 31 March 2024, provide that the end of the 2022 Act will not affect applications where the landlord has served an eviction notice on one of the “temporary” grounds before 1 April 2024 or has raised proceedings based on one of these grounds. As such, where these savings provisions apply, the Tribunal can grant (and a landlord can enforce) an eviction or possession order based on one of the “temporary” grounds.

What Grounds for possession apply from 1 April 2024?                                      

The grounds (“cases” for 1984 Act tenancies) for possession will revert to those that were available to landlords prior to the 2022 Act coming into force. That means those set out in:

  • Schedule 2 of the 1984 Act,
  • Schedule 5 of the 1988 Act, and
  • Schedule 3 of the 2016 Act.

Remember that these grounds were amended by the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Scotland Act 2022 meaning all grounds remain discretionary and ground 8 of the 1988 Act (3 months arrears of rent) has been repealed.

What about Unlawful Evictions?

The changes made by the 2022 Act that made it easier to calculate damages for unlawful evictions will also come to an end on 31 March 2024 (a simple multiplier of rent of between 3 and 36 months). However, proceedings raised prior to 1 April 2024 are covered by the savings provisions already mentioned and will be determined in accordance with rules set out in the 2022 Act which include a duty on the Tribunal to intimate any such orders to the police.

If you require any further information or advice, please contact us or watch our blogs for further updates.