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Winter 'eviction ban'

The Scottish Government has brought in new rules which will ban eviction enforcement action during the winter 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 Scottish Government have confirmed that the ban will continue in Tier 3 and 4 areas until 31 March 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.

If you are worried about your situation you can find advice on our pages on eviction.

Longer notice periods

There are already new rules which extended the notice period needed before a landlord can apply for an eviction order.

This does not ban evictions - it increases the length of time between your landlord telling you they are going to take legal action to evict, and the case being heard at the court or tribunal. It will be up to the court or tribunal to decide if the eviction can go ahead. 

If you get any notices from your landlord seek advice as soon as you can. Even if your landlord has sent you notice, there might still be things you can do to stay in your home. Speak to an adviser if you need help.

The new rules on notices apply to cases where the notice was served on or after 7 April 2020. The rules will be in place until at least 31 March 2021.

The change in the length of notice depends on the type of tenancy you have and the reason your landlord wants to evict. For more details see the main section for your tenancy.  

If you are not sure what type of tenancy you have use our tenancy checker.

Any cases that had already been raised before 7 April 2020 are assessed by the original rules. But the new Christmas 'eviction ban' rules might mean the eviction could be delayed if it is due to take place between 11 December 2020 and 22 January 2021. 

If you are worried you are going to be evicted speak to an adviser

Illegal eviction

Your landlord has to follow the correct process to evict you from your home. Illegal eviction is a criminal offence - coronavirus doesn't change this.

Illegal eviction is when you are forced to leave your home by someone who does not have the legal right to do this.

You might be illegally evicted if:

  • your landlord changes the locks
  • your landlord stops you from getting into your home
  • your landlord makes life so uncomfortable for you that you are forced to leave your home, for example by cutting off water, gas or electricity supplies or by continually turning up at your home late at night
  • you are physically removed from the property by a person who is not a sheriff officer.

What if I live with my landlord? 

If you live with your landlord, then they won't need to get a court order before they can evict you. However, your landlord should give you proper and reasonable notice that they want you to leave.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
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