Skip to main content

View our coronavirus (COVID-19) housing advice

What can the court decide?

This page explains the decisions the sheriff can make when a repossession action goes to court.

My lender has applied to court to repossess and sell my home

If your lender has applied to court for the right to repossess your home and has sent you a section 24 notice and initial writ and you have opposed the action, the sheriff can make the following decisions:

  • dismiss the case
  • continue the case
  • grant an order for repossession.

The case is dismissed

The sheriff can throw the case out of court if s/he thinks your lender has not followed the correct procedure or they don't have the right to repossess your home. For example, they may not have served you with a calling-up notice or have followed any of the pre-action requirements.

If your lender still wants to repossess your home, they will have to start court proceedings from the beginning again.

The case is continued 

The court can set another date so they can have a look at your case again. The court may want to do this to:

  • allow time for you or your lender to provide more information
  • monitor payments towards your arrears.

When the case comes back to court the sheriff can decide to continue the case again, dismiss it or grant a repossession order.

A repossession order is granted

This is the worst case scenario. The court could grant your lender the right to repossess your home. An order must be included stating that you have to move out, as the property cannot be sold be with you in it. The lender then has the right to evict you, usually 14 days after the order was granted.

You can still try to negotiate with your lender, but you will need to be able to:

  • pay a lump sum, and
  • make an offer to pay the balance of the arrears, and
  • pay your lender's legal costs, and
  • show that you will be able to meet monthly payments too.

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

The important points

  • The sheriff can throw the case out of court if s/he thinks your lender has not followed the correct procedure.
  • The court can set another date so they can have a look at your case again.
  • The court could grant your lender the right to repossess your home. An order must be included stating that you have to move out, as the property cannot be sold be with you in it.

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