A FAMILY with a severely autistic son have been granted a reprieve from eviction from their home until their new abode has been adapted to cater for his “complex” needs.

The National has agreed not to name the family – from Livingston, West Lothian – over their fear of repercussions, but they were given the good news yesterday after intervention from local SNP MP Hannah Bardell, Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater and Scotland’s tenants’ union Living Rent.

They had faced eviction last year when we told of their joy at the ­Scottish Government’s ban on winter evictions during the pandemic.

The ban was introduced after the family’s case was raised in Holyrood by the Scottish Greens.

READ MORE: Warning Scotland faces ‘eviction crisis’ as Covid ban comes to an end

However, it was lifted on May 17, when West Lothian moved to level 2 of coronavirus restrictions, and while work was continuing on the family’s new home, which has to be specially-adapted for their son.

The boy has autism and complex needs, and his father is poorly after he suffered a mini stroke earlier this week.

With support from their local ­Living Rent branch, they had asked for three more weeks before moving out.

In its ruling yesterday, the First-tier Tribunal said: “The execution of the order would cause exceptional hardship to the respondents and the son … A delay of approximately three weeks in the execution of the possession order is appropriate in the circumstances presented today to the Tribunal.”

Meanwhile, Lothian MSP Slater said the last-minute reprieve shows the need for the eviction ban to be extended.

She said: “This family would have been evicted today if it wasn’t for the intervention of Living Rent, and I was delighted to join Hannah Bardell to support that effort.

“The fact their landlord was ready to kick this family out of their home during Covid restrictions and before suitable alternative accommodation was ready shows why we need more legal protections for tenants.

“It is unacceptable to evict people from their homes during this crisis.

“That’s why I called for the eviction ban to be extended last week, so situations like this would not arise.

READ MORE: Hundreds of tenants served eviction notices during pandemic

“Housing is a human right, and if landlords cannot respect that it needs to be embedded in legal processes.”

A spokesperson for Living Rent told The National: “Today showed that when well organised, disciplined residents come together, we can successfully defend our right to a safe and secure home.

“The housing system and eviction process has no regard for disabled people.

“Living Rent, local MPs, MSPs and the son’s social work team have been saying for months that the eviction should not go ahead but until the last, the tribunal instead chose to side with the landlord and endanger the lives of the family.

“Now is the time to stand up for disabled people and their right to safe housing, now is the time to stand up for your neighbours.

“This shows how the system of protections in place is failing tenants and the need for urgent reforms.”