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29 April, 2022 Open access

Eviction actions in Scotland fell to lowest ever level in 2020/2021 due to Covid-19-related protections for tenants

New Scottish Government statistics also show that around 80 per cent of eviction actions disposed of were dismissed

Eviction actions in Scotland fell to their lowest ever level in 2020/2021, according to new Scottish Government figures.

In Civil justice statistics in Scotland 2020/2021, the Scottish Government highlights that -

'Emergency coronavirus legislation was put in place from 7 April 2020 until 30 March 2022 to extend the period of notice social landlords were required to give their tenants before the landlord could raise eviction proceedings in court. This was a temporary public health protection measure, aimed at ensuring people could stay safe in their homes for as long as possible. In most cases, this extended notice period was six months. This measure and the increased commitment from social landlords to only take eviction action when absolutely necessary had a significant impact on the number of eviction actions initiated in 2020/2021.'

The Scottish Government goes on to confirm that eviction actions initiated were at the lowest level on record in 2020/2021, dropping by 95 per cent from 10,520 to 576, and that around four in five eviction cases disposed of were dismissed.

NB - the statistics also show that the number of repossession cases was down by 96 per cent compared to 2019/2020, and that the overall number of debt cases decreased by 39 per cent, from 34,594 in 2019/2020 to 21,175 in 2020/2021.

The Civil justice statistics in Scotland 2020/2021 are available from gov.scot

Update (11 May 2022) - the Scottish Government's annual compendium of housing statistics includes details of local authority eviction actions in 2020/2021 that show a sharp fall in evictions in the sector along the lines of that shown across all sectors in the civil justice statistics - from 1,151 in 2019/2020 to 32 in 2020/2021 - attributed to restrictions on evictions that were introduced through Covid-19 legislation.