The concept of private property has always been a contentious one. It shouldn’t have been, as one of the few actual duties of any government is to protect private property — but ask any landlord in, oh, California how difficult it can be to evict tenants who haven’t paid the rent.
It’s even worse in Scotland — surprise, surprise — where temporary tenant-relief laws passed during the Covidiocy are now set to become permanent:
Previously, once a landlord could prove three consecutive months of rental arrears or more, eviction would have been guaranteed.
Under these latest plans, no eviction will be guaranteed, regardless of circumstance or grounds. It will be all discretionary.
The Bill proposes that a tribunal will still be able to grant an eviction if it considers it reasonable, including where late or no-payment of rent is the reason why the landlord is seeking an eviction. But campaigners have questioned what is deemed reasonable.
Instead of making it an ironclad guarantee — if tenants haven’t paid rent for X period, you may evict them — there’s now good chance that a court may say that such eviction may be “unreasonable”, by some standard undefined. Of course, that’s an egregious injustice which runs contrary to the concept of private property, and the landloards know it:
‘Generally, a landlord will have a reason to recover their property and once they’ve evidenced their grounds, they should be entitled to recover it.
‘It is unclear what – if any – evidence the Scottish Government are analysing to consider the removal of mandatory grounds for possession.
‘Abusing temporary provisions to satisfy a long-term policy objective appears to be an underhand tactic and the intention to permanently make all grounds for possession discretionary simply highlights the Scottish Government’s wilful and continued disregard of the value of the private rented sector.’
And here’s the weaselly response from the ScotGov:
‘It simply means a Tribunal can take into account all of the circumstances of both landlords and tenants relating to a case before making a decision. Good landlords recognise the case for keeping tenants in their homes where possible, so adding a final check from the tribunal will support responsible management, recognise financial and other pressures that tenants can face and help prevent homelessness.’
What utter, Class A, Deluxe bullshit.