Local Authority Evictions
There were 1,151 tenancy terminations (evictions and abandonments) in 2019-20, a decrease of 20% or 289 on 1,440 in 2018-19. This then fell to 32 in 2020-21, due to restrictions on evictions brought in through COVID-19 legislation.
Of the 1,151 tenancy terminations in 2019-20, 97% (1,112) were due to rent arrears – a similar proportion to 2019-20 (96%). In 2020-21, this was 9% (3).
Note that figures on the number of local authority evictions for across the 2020-21 financial year have been published by the Scottish Housing Regulator as part of monthly and quarterly COVID-19 Dashboard reporting since the beginning of the pandemic period. The figures being reported in this section therefore cover trends already reported by the Scottish Housing Regulator over recent months, although there are some minor differences in the exact figures presented due to the different data collection and quality assurance processes undertaken.
The diagram below (Figure A) illustrates the numbers of actions taken in against local authority tenants in 2019-20. There were 24,552 notices of proceedings issued. Of these, 7,321 proceeded to court, with 3,033 court orders being granted; 1,151 tenancies were terminated through an eviction or abandonment of the dwelling. Within a typical year, the number of court orders being granted would usually be higher than the number of tenancies terminated due to the a proportion of the tenancies having a resolution put in place prior to the court order being implemented.
Figure B illustrates the same figures for 2020-21. 3,146 notices of proceedings were issued, with 210 proceeded to court and 17 court orders being granted; 32 tenancies were terminated through an eviction or abandonment of the dwelling, although 21 of these tenancies terminated were due to abandonment of the dwelling, which may have occurred prior to the court order being granted or that were granted in a previous year.
Pre-action requirements to strengthen the protection of tenants facing eviction for rent arrears came into force on 1st August 2012. Pre-action requirements require social landlords to have exhausted all attempts to resolve the arrears with the tenant before taking action to evict. The changes have therefore generally had a much bigger effect on the early stages of an eviction action (notice of proceedings issued) than on the later stages.
Notice periods for evictions were extended to 6 months for most types of evictions on April 7th 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. An eviction ban followed on December 11th 2020 that remained in force until 31st of March 2021, which meant that only in exceptional circumstances, such as serious anti-social or criminal behaviour, could eviction orders be enforced. As a result, only 11 evictions against council tenants were recorded in 2020-21, with a further 21 properties abandoned.
Chart 14 shows there were large reductions in the number of actions against local authority tenants proceeding to court from 28,301 in 2001-02 to 7,127 in 2013-14. This was followed by increases each year up to 9,648 in 2017-18. This has then fallen in each subsequent year, dropping to 7,231 in 2019-20, and to 210 in 2020-21.
The number of cases resulting in an eviction order followed a similar pattern, falling from 10,558 in 2001-02 to 2,728 in 2013-14, but then increasing to 4,248 in 2016-17. This has then decreased each year since, reaching 3,033 in 2019-20, and 17 in 2020-21.
Local authority tenancy terminations (i.e. evictions plus abandoned dwellings) as a result of eviction actions have decreased in the latest two years. There were 1,151 such evictions or abandonments in 2020-21, and just 32 in 2020-21.
Further detailed figures are available in the local authority evictions Excel webtables.
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback