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Eviction due to demolition or compulsory purchase

If your landlord has been sent a notice requiring them to demolish the home you rent because it is dangerous or in serious need of repair, or your home is going to be bought by the council or another public authority through compulsory purchase, you will probably have to move out. This page explains your rights in these situations, and looks at what compensation you may be due.

What situations could result in me having to move out?

You may have to move out of your home if your home is going to be bought by the council or another public authority through a compulsory purchase order, or if the council sends your landlord a:

How will I know if my home is going to be demolished or bought?

Demolition notices

The council can only send your landlord a demolition notice if your home is within a housing renewal area (HRA). Before an HRA can be designated, the council has to consult everyone living in the area. This means that you should already have been informed that your home needs to be demolished and been given a chance to ask the council to change its plans, before the notice is issued. The page on HRAs has more information on how to do this.

In addition, when the council issues your landlord with a demolition notice, it must also send a copy to you as the occupier.

Demolition or closing orders

The council doesn't have to notify any tenants when it sends the owner of a property a demolition or closing order. However, your landlord must give you notice before you have to leave the property.

Dangerous building notices

If the council is sending your landlord a dangerous building notice, it must also send a notice to anyone living in the property.

Compulsory purchase orders

If the council is proposing to purchase your home through a CPO, it must send a notice to everyone living there. You'll then have the chance to object to the CPO.

Will I have to move out?

Demolition notices, demolition or closing orders and dangerous building notices

You won't necessarily have to move out if your landlord is sent a demolition notice, a closing or demolition order or a dangerous building notice. Your landlord may decide to carry out repair work to bring the property up to standard, or they may appeal successfully against the order or notice. However, you may have to move out temporarily until the problem is fixed. The page on while repairs are being done has more information on your rights in this situation.

As a tenant, you can also appeal to the sheriff court within 21 days of receiving the notice or order. You'll probably need help from a solicitor to do this, but you may be able to get legal aid to help cover the costs. However, you can't appeal against a demolition or closing order if you have less than six months left to go on your tenancy agreement.

Compulsory purchase orders

The CPO process doesn't happen overnight. It can be a long, drawn out process that lasts several years, so don't panic if you're sent a notice about a possible CPO. The section on CPOs explains how the process works, and how you can make objections to a CPO.

What if I have to move out?

If you have any concerns about leaving your home, contact Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444 or find a local advice agency. An adviser can help you deal with your landlord and the council and find a suitable place to live.

Demolition notices

If the council is carrying out the demolition work required by the notice, it must give you at least 14 days' notice to leave the property.

If your landlord is carrying out the demolition work, they must go through the proper eviction procedure for your tenancy type.

  • If you're a common law tenant (for example, if you live with your landlord), your landlord should give you four weeks' notice before you have to leave.
  • If you're an assured tenant, your landlord needs a special reason or 'ground' to evict you. In this case, they can use ground 6, or ground 9 if your landlord can find you somewhere else to live that's suitable for you and your family. You must be given at least two months' notice before you have to leave, and you should be entitled to reasonable moving expenses as well. If you can't agree what 'reasonable expenses' are, you can ask the sheriff court to decide for you.
  • If you're a short assured tenant, your landlord will be able to evict you at the end of your lease, provided they follow the correct procedure, or before the end of your lease using ground 6 or ground 9 as above.

If you have to move out of your rented home because it's going to be demolished as part of an HRA action plan, the council has to ensure you are provided with somewhere else to live, as long as the property was your only or main home and you were living there when the HRA designation notice was issued.

However, this isn't an automatic process: the council will only ensure you are rehoused if you ask them to.

The accommodation provided by the council must be available on reasonable terms (for example, the rent shouldn't cost much more than your current home) and must be suitable for you and within a reasonable distance of your original home, where practicable.

Closing and demolition orders

If your home is due to be closed or demolished, the council must send you a notice giving you at least 28 days to leave the property. However, the council will need to provide you with a new place to live.

In the case of a closing order, you may only need to move out temporarily, until your home is brought back up to standard. The page on while repairs are being done has more information on temporary displacement.

Dangerous building notices

If you have to leave because of a dangerous building notice, the council will write to you to tell you why you have to move out and when you need to leave by. The law doesn't say how much notice you should be given. In an emergency, it may be very little time.

The council must arrange somewhere else for you to stay, or find you permanent accommodation, if your home is being demolished.

Compulsory purchase orders

If your home has been bought through a CPO, you won't have to leave until the purchase has gone through. The page on after a CPO has been confirmed explains the process in more detail. However, your landlord may ask you to leave before this point, but must use the correct eviction procedure for your tenancy type.

What if I refuse to leave?

If you refuse to leave, either the council or your landlord can apply for a warrant of ejection from the sheriff court, depending on the notice you've been issued. If you don't leave by the date specified on the warrant, the court can send round sheriff officers to remove you from the property. However, the case of a demolition notice, the sheriff will only grant the order if they're satisfied that you have somewhere else to go that's suitable for you.

Can I claim compensation?

If you have to move out because your home is being closed down or demolished, or bought via a CPO, you may be able to claim compensation, such as:

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444*
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

*Our advice line is free to call from landlines and all six of the main UK mobile networks, Virgin, Orange, 3, T-mobile, Vodafone and O2, but charges may apply from any other network

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