Preventing eviction

If your landlord wants to evict you, check what you can do and your options to stop or delay an eviction. Your landlord cannot just turn up at your door and ask you to leave the property. They have to follow the correct legal procedure. If they you do ask you to leave without following the proper legal process then it maybe an illegal eviction and you should contact the police as soon as possible. 

Eviction because of rent arrears

If you have rent arrears because you're waiting for a housing benefit decision, you should let your landlord know what's happening. Make sure you have handed in all the information the council requires to process your form and keep a note of any contact you have if you are trying to chase the housing benefit department.

If you are not expecting housing benefit to cover the rent arrears, you should make an arrangement to clear the arrears. Make sure this is affordable and you can keep to the arrangement. If you can prove that you can stick to the arrangement, you are far less likely to be evicted.

You can find out more about dealing with rent arrears here.

Eviction due to antisocial behaviour

Your landlord may want to evict you because they believe that you, or someone living with you or visiting you, have been acting in an antisocial way or have been disturbing, upsetting, annoying or harassing your neighbours.

Talk with your landlord. Perhaps your neighbours have been complaining unreasonably about your behaviour. Or perhaps you could go to mediation to sort out your problems.

If you admit that there has been antisocial behaviour you should do everything you can to make sure it stops. You will want to show your landlord and, if your case calls at court, the sheriff, that you have turned over a new leaf.

My landlord wants to evict me because I'm neglecting or damaging the property

Your landlord may want to evict you because you haven't been taking good care of the property.

If you are having difficulty looking after the property because of health reasons, you should explain this to your landlord. They may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help you look after the property. Or you can contact the council's social work department, who will be able to carry out an assessment of your needs and arrange for you to get some help.

If you have damaged the property, you could repair the damage or offer to pay for the repairs. Only try repairing something yourself if you know what you are doing. If you make the damage worse you will only annoy your landlord even more.

If you have just been lazy, here is the prompt that you need. Get it sorted and prove that you can keep the place in good condition.

My landlord wants to evict me because they don't think I am living in my home

Talk to your landlord. If you have been away from home but still want to come back to live there, you should explain this to your landlord. You should have a good reason for being away for so long, such as looking after a sick relative or working away for a short spell. If your landlord doesn't believe you are living in the property they can start abandonment procedures to end your tenancy, which are different from eviction procedures.

If you are living in your home, you may be able to prove you're still living there by showing your utility bills, such as gas or electricity.

My husband, wife or partner wants to evict me

If you are living with a partner or spouse, they may try to evict you from your home if you split up. However, they may not have the right to do this and you may be able to prevent this from happening. The section on relationship breakdown explains your rights.

What should I do if I have to leave?

If there is nothing you can do to stop yourself being evicted, you will have to look for somewhere else to live:

  • The section on finding accommodation has more information on your housing options.
  • If you are about to become homeless, you may be able to get help from the council. The council has a legal duty to provide advice and assistance to people who are threatened with homelessness.

If your landlord has asked you to leave, talk to an adviser immediately. They may be able to suggest ways in which you can delay or prevent the eviction so that you can stay in your home. They can also help you deal with court papers, and may be able to represent you in court. Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444.

I'm a landlord looking for help

If you are a private landlord and you're looking for help to evict a tenant then contact Scottish Association of Landlords or the National Landlords Association.

The important points

  • Whatever the reason for your landlord wanting to evict you, they still have to follow the correct legal procedures.
  • If your partner wants you to evict you because the relationship has broken down, you may still have rights to stay in the property.
  • If you're about to become homeless, the council should help you, by providing help and assistance.

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.

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