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Common law eviction rights for mobile home tenants or owners

This page tells you what your rights are if you rent a mobile home or you rent a pitch for your mobile home and you are worried about being asked to leave. The information applies to people who are common law tenants or people who rent a pitch on an unprotected site.

When can I be evicted?

Before you can be evicted, the landlord or site owner must give you notice of at least four weeks. If you have been given the correct notice but do not leave when it runs out, the landlord/site owner can apply to the sheriff court for an order telling you to leave.

When can the landlord or site owner ask me to leave?

At any time

If you have a written tenancy agreement it may state that the landlord or site owner can ask you to leave by giving you a written notice asking you to leave at any time. Your notice must be at least four weeks. If there is nothing in your tenancy agreement about this, your landlord can only ask you to leave:

  • because you have broken a condition of your tenancy agreement, or
  • at the end of the fixed period of your tenancy.

At the end of your tenancy

If the landlord/site owner wants you to leave at the end of the term of the lease they must serve you with a notice to quit. The notice to quit must be in writing and must state clearly the date when you have to leave. The minimum length of your notice depends on how long your lease was for:

  • less than four months = 28 days' minimum notice
  • more than four months = 40 days' minimum notice.

If the landlord/site owner asks you to leave at the end of the lease and serves you the correct notice, you will have to leave.

Unfortunately, most people who rent mobile homes do not get written tenancy agreements stating how long their lease lasts and when it will end. In this case, you can argue that the lease lasts a year from the date you moved in or the date you first started paying rent.

Before the end of your tenancy, if you have broken a condition of your tenancy agreement

If you have a tenancy agreement it may tell you:

  • what you must and must not do, and
  • that if you fail to stick to this, you can be evicted.

If you break one of these conditions, for example you stop paying your rent or damage the mobile home or part of the site, you could be evicted.

The landlord or site owner must still give you four weeks' notice. If you don't think you have broken a condition of your tenancy agreement, you can argue the matter in court. A housing adviser should be able to tell you whether you have a case, and can find someone to represent you in court.

What should I do if my landlord gives me notice to leave?

Look for somewhere else to live

If your landlord has given you notice to leave, you should start looking for other accommodation. If you own your mobile home, you will need to find somewhere else to station it. If you rent your mobile home, you will need to find somewhere else to live.

Remember that you will have to pay rent or pitch fees until your notice runs out, so try to find somewhere you can move into near that date, as you may have to pay rent for two homes or pitches if there is an overlap. If housing benefit is paying your rent, you may be able to get housing benefit for two homes, although not everyone is eligible for this.

Get advice

An adviser may be able to help you delay or even stop the eviction. They will also be able to discuss your housing options with you and tell you what help you may be entitled to from the council. Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444 or use the Advice Services Directory to find help near you.

Make a homeless application

If you live in a mobile home or houseboat but have nowhere to keep it, you are legally homeless. You can therefore make a homeless application to the council, who will have a duty to offer you:

  • help and advice to find somewhere else to live or keep your mobile home, and
  • somewhere to stay, if necessary (temporary accommodation).

Depending on your circumstances, the council may offer you a permanent home.

What happens if I don't leave at the end of my notice?

If you don't leave at the end of your notice, the landlord or site owner can apply for an order from the sheriff court telling you to leave.

  • If you are coming to the end of your tenancy and you have been given the correct notice, the sheriff will automatically grant the order.
  • If the landlord or site owner can prove that you have broken a condition of your tenancy agreement, the sheriff will automatically grant the order.

Warning: if you stay on the site after your notice has run out without very good reason, the landlord or site owner can ask the court to get you to pay damages, such as their legal fees.

What is a summons?

A summons is a letter from the sheriff court to tell you that the landlord or site owner has asked for a court order for you to be evicted. Before a court order can be granted, your case must be heard at the sheriff court.

The summons should include the date of the court hearing, which should be at least three weeks after you receive the summons.

If you have received a summons, get advice. An adviser may be able to help you prepare for court or put you in touch with someone who can go to court for you. You can get advice from Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444 or Citizens Advice, your local council or other local advice centre. Use the Advice Services Directory to find agencies in your area.

Going to court

Go to the section on going to court for eviction to find out more about what happens at court.

Illegal eviction

If your landlord tries to force you to leave without giving you the correct notice or by harassing you and making your life such a misery you have no option but to leave, they will be committing a criminal offence. If this is happening to you, get advice immediately. Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444. Find out more about illegal eviction here.

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The important points

  • Your landlord must give you at least four weeks notice if they want to evict you.
  • If your agreement is coming to an end and your landlord wants you to leave when the contract expires, they need to give you a notice to quit.
  • If your landlord wants you to leave at the end of your tenancy, they might have to give you more than four weeks notice. It depends on the length of your agreement.
  • If you don't leave at the end of the notice period, your landlord must get a court order to make you leave. You will receive a summons from the court if your landlord applies for a court order.

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