Solving the Social Housing Crisis
Speakers: Fiona McLeod, Brodies LLP
Social Housing has been at the heart of the UK and Scottish Government’s response to the COVID Pandemic and this has led to a variety of legislative changes which have had serious implications for both landlords and tenants alike.
In this in depth seminar, we will explore and examine the legislative changes which have been made and the impact on the housing sector post COVID-19. This seminar will cover the following topics:
Extension of eviction notice period
Shelter Scotland is predicting a tidal wave of evictions over the coming months. The Scottish Government committed to providing tenants with increased protection from eviction during the pandemic. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 increased the notice period for evictions. The notice period was originally extended to three months for evictions including criminal convictions and antisocial behaviour and extended to six months for other evictions including, rent arrears. However, the period for proceedings on the grounds of criminal convictions and antisocial behaviour, where the proceedings are raised on or after 3 October 2020 has now reverted back to four weeks. This seminar will consider the implications the extension of the notice period on social landlords and tenants.
Restriction on temporary unsuitable accommodation
In May 2020, the Unsuitable Accommodation Order ("UAO"), which prevented pregnant women and families being placed in temporary accommodation, including B&Bs for more than seven days, was extended to include all persons who present themselves as homeless. Exceptions were created to take account of the pandemic. These exceptions were temporarily extended and expanded in September 2020. Therefore, at present, it is not a breach of the UAO for local authorities to utilise B&B and hotel accommodation to help individuals self-isolate. This seminar will consider the UAO legislation, the associated guidance and best practice for social landlords moving forward.
The Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill
The Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill, if passed by Parliament, will allow social landlords to end or transfer a tenancy of a perpetrator of domestic abuse to prevent a victim becoming homeless and enabling them to remain in the family home. This seminar will discuss the proposed legislation, the impact of this on social landlords and best practice for social landlords.
Fiona, Senior Associate at Brodies LLP, has considerable experience in working with public sector clients and is an accredited expert in Housing and Residential Tenancy law. She is also an experienced litigator and appears in courts throughout Scotland in all aspects of civil litigation.
Fiona's clients include central and local government, regulatory bodies, housing associations and private clients. She regularly advises on legislation, statutory interpretation, and powers and duties of public bodies. Fiona prides herself on her clear understanding of the law with the ability to present information in a way that is accessible and understandable to non-lawyers.