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Evictions and moving out

Councils, housing associations and housing co-ops have to follow the correct legal procedures to evict tenants.

You want to leave

If you want to end your tenancy, you have to give your landlord four weeks' notice in writing. If you have a joint Scottish secure tenancy, the other tenant/s must give notice also, unless they are wishing to take over your tenancy. If you are married or in a civil partnership or live with a partner, your landlord may also need their agreement before ending the tenancy.

The landlord wants to evict you

On 7 April 2020 the Scottish Government brought in new rules to extend the notice period required to be given to tenants before landlords can start legal action to obtain an order for eviction. These new rules will be in place till 30 September 2020 in the first instance. Check out our Covid-19 page for more information.

Your landlord has to follow specific legal procedures to evict you. 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 will need to have a reason for evicting you (for example, because are in arrears with your rent or you have broken a term of your tenancy agreement).

The eviction process

The eviction process follows these steps:

  • anyone living in your house who is over 16 will be sent a notice of proceedings
  • you will be sent a summons telling you when your case will be heard at court
  • your case will come to court
  • the sheriff will make a decision on whether to grant a decree for eviction or not
  • if an eviction decree is granted sheriff officers will be sent round to remove you from the property.

If your landlord is wanting to evict you get advice as soon as possible. An adviser may be able to tell you what your rights are and tell you if it might be possible to stop or delay your eviction. You can get advice from Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444.

Other repairs

For repairs not covered under the right to repair your landlord should have a procedure for dealing with these kinds of repairs, which should be explained in your tenants' handbook.

When you report the repair, your landlord should let you know how long it will take to get the work done. There is no legal time limit, but the work should be done within a reasonable time.

After court

Your landlord should send you a letter telling you when the eviction date is. This is called a 'Form of Charge for Removing' and must be served on you by a sheriff officer. This letter will normally give you 14 days to leave the property.

Minute for recall

If you did not appear in court, and there was no-one there to represent you, when the sheriff granted the order to evict you then you may be able to lodge a minute of recall to get your case brought back to the court.

It's very important that you complete a minute of recall form correctly, call our free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444 to speak to an adviser who will help you.


If you become homeless due to eviction, you should contact your local council for assistance. Check our homelessness pages for more information

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