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Eviction due to repossession

This page explains what should happen if you rent your property from a private landlord and you're at risk of eviction due to the landlord defaulting on their mortgage. The main thing to remember is that you can't just be thrown out because the mortgage lender was not aware of you being in the property.

How will I know if the property is going to be repossessed?

When a mortgage lender starts proceedings to repossess a home, it must send a copy of any legal notice that is being sent to the borrower to any other people living in the home. This will usually be addressed 'to the occupier'.

What are my rights if I'm a tenant?

If you are a tenant of a landlord whose property is subject to a repossession order, it does not mean that you have to automatically leave the property. The landlord's lender would have to seek to evict you in the same way as a landlord has to. Eviction from private rented accommodation explains the eviction process and what you can do to delay or stop the eviction. You don't have to leave until the lender has got an order from the sheriff court to evict you. However, the repossession of the property is a 'mandatory ground' for eviction, which means that the sheriff has to grant an order for your eviction and can't use their discretion to allow you to stay on.

If you get a notice of an impending notice to remove, or the sheriff officers turn up at your door and request you leave the property, the best course of action would be to contact the lender and tell them that you are a tenant in the property. Hopefully this should stop the impending action. However, if the lender will not recognise you as a tenant, or states that you will have to leave regardless, contact an advice centre or a solicitor.

I'm a landlord looking for help

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

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The important points

  • If the property that you rent is being repossessed, you cannot be asked to leave just because the lender did not know you were in the property.
  • As soon as a mortgage lender begins the procedure to repossess a property they must send a copy of any legal notice to anyone living in the home, and they will usually address it to the occupier.
  • To grant a court order which allows you to be evicted, the landlord needs grounds (reasons) which have to be approved by the the sheriff court. Repossession is a mandatory ground, which means the sheriff court cannot avoid granting the court order. 

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