Scotland's Tenants' Union today issued landlords and courts "notice" that tenants will fight evictions amid an arrears crisis sparked by COVID-19.

Members of Living Rent will target letting agents, landlords and tribunals across the city ahead of a wave of threatened evictions. 

The action comes as a warning to housing providers that attempts to evict tenants will be met with resistance.

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Warning notices are to be pitched at dozens of letting agencies across Glasgow and Edinburgh where the campaign group will make a presence at the First Tier Housing Tribunal - where disputes concerning private tenancies are heard.

Sonja Coquelin, a Living Rent member said: “Throughout the course of the pandemic, thousands of people have fallen into rent arrears through no fault of their own.

"Living Rent members are united in asserting that housing is health, and that evictions during and in the aftermath of an outbreak of a highly infectious disease are immoral and unworkable.”

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The action comes as Shelter England reported 230,000 tenants could lose their homes in the aftermath of the lockdown and Shelter Scotland reported a 37 per cent rise in applications for crisis 1 grants.

Scottish charities and housing organisations are calling for an extension to the eviction 2 ban and for the Scottish and UK governments to address the devastating amount of rent arrears accrued during lockdown due to the mass furlough and job loss.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “We recognise the significant financial hardship some people may be feeling due to the pandemic poses which is why we took swift action to ensure through emergency legislation we have, in effect, halted eviction action for up to six months to help tenants to remain in their home

“The Scottish Government has been clear that no landlord should evict a tenant because they have suffered financial hardship due to coronavirus

"We expect landlords to be flexible with tenants facing financial hardship and signpost them to the range of support that is available to help tenants pay their rent.

“Tenants facing financial hardship because of Covid-19 must have access to the appropriate support, including the UK government’s self-employed and furloughed worker schemes and benefits where a job has been lost. Citizens Advice Scotland, following additional funding from the Scottish Government, is available to provide help and advice to tenants and I would urge people to contact them to find out all the help they are entitled to during such a difficult time.

“We have also allocated an additional £5 million in Discretionary Housing Payments along with other forms of support for those on low incomes, for example the Scottish Welfare Fund, which makes community grants and crisis grants available to those in immediate need.”