Early communication and mediation best way to solve COVID rental issues, says landlord body
Scotland’s largest landlord membership organisation has urged landlords and tenants to work together to sustain tenancies at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure tenants access all available support to pay their rent.
The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) is promoting early communication and action to reduce the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on landlords and tenants in the private rented sector.
SAL is urging tenants and landlords to use free mediation services to reach fair and reasonable solutions for both sides.
They are also highlighting six key principles all landlords can follow including avoiding any eviction process unless absolutely necessary and reducing rent levels where possible to reflect short-term difficulties.
Landlords are also urged to ensure they are knowledgeable about support available and proactively signpost tenants to free, confidential and independent advice through the Citizens Advice network.
John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said: “It is in everyone’s interests that landlords and tenants work together to sustain tenancies wherever possible and early, open and honest communication is key to that.
“Landlords must work with their tenants to signpost them to free, independent advice and not begin any eviction proceedings until they have exhausted all other possible options.”
CAS social justice spokesperson, Mhoraig Green, said: “We often see tenants who have put off seeking advice until they reach a crisis point, and who have been too nervous to speak with their landlord. We’d urge all landlords to follow the clear principles set out by SAL, enabling tenants to communicate with them openly and honestly.
“There is help available for any tenant or landlord who isn’t sure where they stand. If you’re a tenant and things are looking tough, tell your landlord as soon as you can and get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or other advice organisation to see what your rights are and what help you can get with rent.”