A £5m Scottish Government fund will offer interest-free loans to private landlords whose tenants are having difficulty paying rent during the coronavirus crisis.
The Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme will support private sector landlords who are not classified as businesses, have up to five properties to rent and have lost rental income due to tenants unable to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme, which has now opened for applications, will offer eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 protects tenants from any eviction action for six months.
Landlords facing difficulties with repayments on a mortgage for a rental property are expected to seek a mortgage repayment holiday from their lender before they apply for a loan.
The application process requires landlords to confirm they understand the terms of the Coronavirus Act in relation to eviction proceedings, and that they have discussed rent issues with their tenant and reached agreement on managing arrears.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart explained: "We want to ensure no one loses their home during this unprecedented public health pandemic, which is why we passed legislation to protect tenants against any eviction action for six months.
"This new £5m loan fund builds on that action and offers landlords the same security as tenants, ensuring they have financial support if tenants struggle to pay rent because of coronavirus.
"While all tenants should pay their rent if they can, we recognise the financial pressure people are facing. The Scottish Government encourages landlords to talk to their tenants about rent payment issues. We also expect landlords to be as flexible as possible with their tenants, discuss managing rental payments and help them find sources of financial support and advice."