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Looking to rent / existing tenants

Viewings

Property viewing appointments have been suspended while the governement's advice is to stay at home. This will be reviewed should that advice change.

Operating during the lockdown

The Scottish Association of Landlords has been liaising with the Scottish Government following its request that people stay at home.

Based upon their advice, the following activities should still go ahead where possible:

  • Move-ins where the incoming tenant is not able to postpone the move in date, for example because otherwise they would have nowhere to live;
  • Emergency maintenance work e.g. heating/hot water repairs, water leaks; and
  • Move outs to check the property is safe and secure – these should be done without the tenant being present and to reduce the risk of virus spread from surfaces will be done 72-hours after the tenant has moved out.

All will be done in line with the latest advice on social distancing and personal hygiene to reduce the spread of the virus. Wherever possible they will be carried out without the tenant being present.

Routine safety certification visits and property inspections will not be carried out at present.

Helping tenants to pay their rent

The Scottish Government has amended the mandatory grounds for eviction under the Private Residential Tenancy from three months to six months.

People affected by Coronavirus who are concerned about paying their rent can claim Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions which includes support for housing costs, if eligible. The UK Government has introduced some temporary changes to make this easier. For further information on applying for Universal Credit, click here.

Those getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but still can’t afford their housing costs, they may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). Further information on DHPs and how to apply is available by clicking here.

Tenants may also be able to get support through the Scottish Welfare Fund. Further information on how to apply is available by clicking here.

Additional support and free advice can also be obtained by contacting:

Shelter Scotland

Citizens Advice Scotland

The Money Advice Service

Scotland’s Financial Health Service

StepChange

Continuity of service

In line with the latest government advice, many of our lawyers and staff are working remotely from home.

We have a centralised contact centre where clients can reach us on 0333 0044 333. This line is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday.

We also have a 24-hour helpline (0333 0045 999) available for tenants to report any issues, as well as a website (acandco.com/tenant-help).

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