31 Mar 2020
Today, the Scottish Government introduced the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency legislation supports and complements the Coronavirus Act 2020, passed by the UK Parliament last week.
Commenting on the Scottish Bill, Scottish Property Federation (SPF) Chair Robin Blacklock, said:
“We welcome this extraordinary Bill, which supports the public health emergency and recognises the economic challenges we are facing due to COVID-19.
“The SPF is urging its members to do as much as possible to support society in general during this unprecedented crisis.
“We are encouraging all members to put the welfare of the nation at the forefront of all decisions, and we are recommending landlords take a pragmatic approach where possible.
“We believe that setting a level playing field for deferring commercial rental payments and any irritancy proceedings is sensible in the current circumstances.
“Leading members have already been supporting tenants to manage rental obligations as the economy adapts to the restrictions on population movements, and as residents and businesses struggle with financial obligations through no fault of their own.
“However, we must also recognise that landlords are businesses and employers that depend on cash-flow to stay in operation and maintain jobs.
“Many commercial property owners in Scotland will also have significant responsibilities to their investors including pension funds.
“Landlords also need to be supported and should not be penalised with empty property rates charges for vacant premises that they cannot re-let during this crisis.”