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13 May, 2020 Open access

Provision giving Scottish Ministers more time to report on proposed changes to local connection homelessness rules included in emergency Coronavirus (No. 2) Bill

New Bill also includes provision to enable a person with a student residential tenancy to terminate the accommodation agreement with their landlord

Provision giving Scottish Ministers more time to report on changes to local connection homelessness legislation has been included in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill.

Among measures spanning a broad range of policy areas - including in relation to social security, justice, and other public services - housing measures in the Bill include provision (at paragraph 4 of Schedule 3) to extend by six months the current 12-month time limit for Scottish Ministers to publish a statement on the circumstances and criteria for exercising powers to amend provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 so that local connection referrals between local authorities are suspended.

NB - the Scottish Government confirmed in July 2019 its intention to modify and suspend referrals between local authorities relating to local connection and, with effect from 7 November 2019, the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 (Commencement No. 4) Order (SSI.No.316/2019) commenced provisions in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003, that provide Ministers with the power to make regulations to change local connection provisions.

In addition, the Bill includes further housing-related provisions (paragraphs 1 to 3 of Schedule 1) in response to the COVID-19 crisis that enable a person with a student residential tenancy to terminate the accommodation agreement with their landlord, and set out that notice must be in writing and be given with minimum notice periods.

For more information, see Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill from parliament.scot