Eviction if you're disabled
This page explains what protection is available if you're facing eviction and you have a disability. The law relating to equalities changed on 1 October 2010 with the introduction of the Equality Act 2010. The page below reflects these changes unless otherwise stated.
What are my rights if I'm a disabled person?
The Equality Act offers you protection from disability discrimination. If you are disabled and the reason that are being evicted is because of something to do with your disability then you will be protected by the Equality Act. For example, you may have a mental condition that affects the way you behave, if you are being evicted because of this behaviour then you will be protected.
Eviction actions before 1 October 2010
In 2008 a case made it harder for disabled tenants use their disability as a defence in eviction actions that started before 1 October 2010.
The main factors that affect the likelihood of your success are:
- your exact circumstances
- whether or not your landlord is aware of your disability, and
- how your landlord has treated you and whether or not you have been treated less favourably than someone without a disability.
All these factors have complicated legal tests and you must legal advice as soon as possible if you think your landlord is discriminating against you.
Who has these rights?
Many people who do not consider themselves to be 'disabled' are covered by the Equality Act - to find out whether you're covered, read our page about disability discrimination.
What should I do if my landlord is trying to evict me?
As soon as you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, you should get specialist advice as straightaway. You can get help from:
- the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
- Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444
- a Citizens Advice or local advice organisation
- a law centre
- a solicitor.
When you talk to a solicitor or adviser, make sure you explain your disability and how this is connected to your eviction.
What should I do if my landlord has already evicted me?
If your landlord has already evicted you for a reason connected to your disability, you may be able to take them to court. See the page on tackling disability discrimination to find out more.