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I'm being evicted, what can I do?

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 if you have nowhere to go and need immediate help.

Christmas 'eviction ban'

The Scottish Government has brought in new rules which will ban eviction enforcement action for a six week period.

  • the ban covers both social rented and private rented sector tenancies
  • the ban will be in force 11 December 2020 – 22 January 2021
  • the ban only applies to the ‘enforcement’ part of eviction proceedings. It means sheriff officers can't remove a household from a property while the ban is in place.

There are some exceptions to the ban. For example if the eviction was granted due to criminal or antisocial behaviour, then the eviction can still go ahead. 

What about other parts of eviction proceedings?

  • Any current or new eviction hearings at court or tribunal can still go ahead
  • Eviction orders can still be granted by courts and tribunals
  • Landlords can still serve notice on tenants.

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.

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 or Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline.

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.

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.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're in England

Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?

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The important points

  • You should be given notice before you need to move out, you can't just be thrown out overnight.
  • Your rights depend on what kind of tenancy you have.
  • Some of your options include talking to your landlord so you understand why you're being evicted, getting help from an adviser and making a homeless application to your council.

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us