Help! I'm being evicted
This content applies to Scotland only.
Housing laws vary between Scotland and England. Get advice relating to England
This page outlines the steps you can take if your landlord has asked you to leave your home, and looks at how you can get help.
Check your rights
Landlords have to follow specific legal procedures to evict their tenants. They can't just throw you out into the street overnight. For example:
- you should be given a certain amount of notice before you have to leave
- your landlord may need to have a reason for evicting you (for example, because your lease has ended or you have broken a term of your tenancy agreement).
If your landlord does not follow the correct legal procedure or tries to evict you illegally, you may be able to get the eviction stopped.
How do I find out what my rights are?
Your rights will vary depending on:
- whether you live with your landlord
- what kind of tenancy you have.
To find out your rights, you can check your tenancy type here and then go to the relevant pages in this section. For example, if you have a Scottish secure tenancy with the council, go the section on eviction of council tenants to find out your rights.
A housing adviser at a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice should also be able to tell you what your rights are. Use the Advice Services Directory to find help near you.
Talk to your landlord
Make sure you find out why you are being evicted. For example, your landlord may ask you to leave because:
- your tenancy is coming to an end (the amount of time you agreed that you could stay there)
- you have broken a term of your tenancy agreement
- they want to sell the property.
Ask your landlord if there is anything you can do to prevent or delay the eviction. For example, if you have not been taking good care of the property, you can repair any damage and promise to do better in the future. The page on preventing eviction has more examples.
Get help from an adviser
If your landlord wants to evict you, get advice immediately. An adviser may be able to:
- tell you your rights
- find out whether the eviction is legal
- delay or prevent the eviction, depending on your circumstances
- help you find new accommodation
- help you make a homeless application to the council.
You can get advice from the council, a Shelter advice centre, Citizens Advice or other advice centre. Use the Advice Services Directory to find an agency near you.
Make a homeless application to the council
You don't have to be sleeping on the street to be homeless. For example, you can make a homeless application if:
- your landlord has asked you to leave your home within the next two months
- you are staying temporarily with friends or family
- you are living in a hostel, a refuge or bed and breakfast accommodation.
If you think you might be homeless you can apply to your local council for help. If you are homeless, the council has to offer you:
- advice and assistance and
- a spell in temporary accommodation and
- in certain circumstances, a permanent home.