The Scottish response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the private rented sector

Combe, Malcolm M.; Boggenpoel, ZT and van der Sijde, E and Tlale, MT and Mahomedy, S, eds. (2021) The Scottish response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the private rented sector. In: Property Responses and Pandemics : Property Law Reponses to Covid-19. Juta and Company Ltd., Cape Town, South Africa. ISBN 9781485138693

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The repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic1 have been huge, with housing issues – particularly for those renting accommodation – being but one of the many affected areas as a result of the necessary 'social distancing' measures to arrest the pandemic having a knockon effect on income streams. Temporary changes in the residential leasing context have taken place around the world; notably, Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, called for a moratorium on evictions.2 This chapter details the response from Scotland, one of the subnational jurisdictions of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As shall be explained, Scottish residential tenants in the private rented sector have generally been provided with temporary protections against eviction, with the inevitable equivalent restrictions on private landlords such that they might not be able to obtain possession of let properties in the event of a breach of a term of the tenancy through normal channels. That is not the full story though, and an interesting comparison is revealed from within Scotland, namely where students renting bespoke accommodation were offered an escape route to leave a student residential let, and corresponding affected landlords might lose such tenants (and an income stream). Before setting out those Covid-19 reforms and the specific rules about residential leasing, an introduction to Scots landlord and tenant law (and Scots law in general) will be offered.


Combe, Malcolm M. ORCID logoORCID:; Boggenpoel, ZT, van der Sijde, E, Tlale, MT and Mahomedy, S