Fifty Serco evictions have been halted

Serco

Campaigners say evictions are often illegal 

8th August 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Fifty eviction attempts by Serco have been blocked by Glasgow Sheriff Court, it has been revealed.  

Campaigners now say the scale of intervention by the court raises serious questions about the private company’s evictions policy.

Lawyers representing people affected by the policy argue that lock change evictions without court orders are unlawful. They are seeking interim interdicts from the Sheriff Court on a case-by-case basis as a means of protecting people at risk of summary eviction, while the law is being clarified.

The blocking of the lock-change evictions will put pressure on Serco to pause all its lock changes while the law is being clarified.

The Scottish Refugee Council (SRC) said it is aware of three people who have been made homeless as a result of evictions in the past fortnight.

Graham O’Neill, policy manager at Scottish Refugee Council, said:  “These fifty interdicts are a significant milestone in the campaign against Serco and the Home Office’s inhumane treatment of people seeking refugee protection in Scotland. It’s time for Serco to commit to the lawful court order procedure which exists to protect people, giving them time to challenge potential evictions and avoid crisis situations such as this, where people are being forced into destitution and onto the streets.

“Until there is a final ruling on this legal case, we urge Serco to immediately stop making people homeless, and to stop spreading fear and anxiety among vulnerable, marginalised groups in Scotland.”

Fiona McPhail, principal solicitor at Shelter Scotland said:  “To achieve 50 interim interdicts so far is great news and just shows that there is a case to be heard. We would urge that Serco stop its programme of lock changes until the law has been clarified on whether these lock changes are lawful.

"Until then, as a group of housing lawyers in Glasgow, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that any person at risk of a lock change has access to legal advice so that their rights to a home may be defended.”