Stopping eviction for antisocial behaviour
Your landlord must follow a strict legal process to evict you for antisocial behaviour. They cannot force you to leave without an eviction order from a court or tribunal.
There are steps you can take to stop the eviction. If you can explain the behaviour or show it will stop, the court or tribunal can decide not to evict you.
This applies when you rent from:
the council or a housing association
a private landlord or letting agent
The eviction rules are different if you live with your landlord.
What counts as antisocial behaviour
Antisocial behaviour means acting in a way that causes or could cause alarm or distress to someone in a different household. This includes:
making excessive noise
shouting, swearing or fighting
intimidating or threatening someone
damaging or vandalising property
If something’s not on this list, it can still be antisocial behaviour if it’s causing alarm or distress.
If you're the tenant you’re responsible for:
your behaviour in your home and local area
antisocial behaviour by someone in your household
antisocial behaviour by anyone visiting you
If you’re disabled or have a relevant medical condition
If the antisocial behaviour is a direct result of your disability or medical condition, explain this to your landlord if you feel comfortable
This could help your landlord understand your situation. If they do not take it into account, a solicitor could argue that you should not be evicted for this reason.
Provide medical evidence such as a letter from your GP.
Ask your GP to be referred to a community mental health team or drug and alcohol service if you think these issues are causing the behaviour.
If you think you’re experiencing disability discrimination, get advice from the Equality Advisory and Support Service.
What to say to your landlord
Contact your landlord to negotiate. You could:
ask what you need to do to keep your home
agree on behaviour that is acceptable for everyone
go to mediation to resolve issues with any neighbours
Use our letter template to help you know what to say.
Template: ask for time to deal with antisocial behaviour
Copy and paste the text below and personalise it with your details.
Delete anything that does not apply to you.
Subject: dealing with antisocial behaviour complaints
I’m asking for more time to deal with complaints about antisocial behaviour.
I’m taking the following steps to prevent further complaints.
I've stopped <example: the behaviour that was causing complaints / people coming to your home who were behaving antisocially>.
I ask that we <example: meet to discuss the complaints / agree on behaviour that's acceptable to everyone / use mediation to resolve the issue>
Please take into account the following circumstances that may have contributed to complaints about my behaviour: <any disabilities, medical conditions or addiction issues that you’re comfortable telling them about>.
I've contacted <example: your GP or support services> for extra support with my health and wellbeing, which I believe will help reduce complaints about my behaviour.
Let me know what else I can do to avoid eviction and keep my home.
Please confirm in writing that you’ll give me time and support to deal with these issues.
You can also download the letter to send as an email attachment or through the post:
If you send a letter, send it by recorded delivery and keep the receipt.
Keep a copy in case you need it for evidence in court or tribunal.
The eviction process if you rent from the council or housing association
Councils and housing associations usually have antisocial behaviour policies.
Their policy should say when and how they must deal with antisocial behaviour. Ask for a copy and check that they’re following it properly. Make sure they’re not skipping any steps.
If they decide to evict you, the council or housing must send you a letter called a notice of proceedings. It must say which eviction ground is being used.
It must give you at least 28 days’ notice before they can apply to the sheriff court for an eviction order. You do not have to move out by the date on your notice of proceedings.
The council or housing association will likely use one of the following eviction grounds:
Eviction ground 8: nuisance, annoyance or harassment
This ground can be used if the council or housing association believe it's appropriate to move you.
For example, if they think the behaviour would stop if you were given a home somewhere else.
Eviction from a short Scottish secure tenancy
In most cases, the eviction process is the same. The council must use an eviction ground.
The only exception is at the end of your fixed term. If you're being evicted at the end of your fixed term:
you must get a letter called a notice of possession
the notice of possession must give you at least 2 months' notice
the council or housing association does not need to use an eviction ground
you can appeal the eviction within 14 days' of getting a notice of possession
Contact a Shelter Scotland adviser or get legal advice from a solicitor if you're being evicted from a short Scottish secure tenancy. They can tell you your rights and help you appeal.
If you're offered a short Scottish secure tenancy
In some cases, the council or housing association can offer you a short Scottish secure tenancy instead of evicting you.
This can allow you to help you keep your home, but it does give you less rights.
If you’re being offered a short Scottish secure tenancy, contact a Shelter Scotland adviser or get a solicitor to help you. You can appeal an offer within 14 days.
The eviction process if you rent from a private landlord
Your landlord cannot just tell you to leave. They must give you a valid eviction notice in writing.
If you do not move out, they must get an eviction order from the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).
Your rights depend on the tenancy type you have. If you moved in on or after 1 December 2017 you’ll have a private residential tenancy.
If you moved in before this date, you’ll usually have an assured or short assured tenancy.
If you have a private residential tenancy
Your landlord must send you a notice to leave. It must say which eviction ground is being used. Your landlord can use:
ground 13: criminal behaviour
ground 14: antisocial behaviour
ground 15: association with someone who has a relevant conviction or has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
The notice to leave must give you 28 days notice before they can apply to the tribunal for an eviction order. You do not have to move out by the date on your eviction notice.
Your landlord can only use this ground if there's been antisocial behaviour in or around your home. Usually the behaviour must have taken place in the last 12 months.
Check our advice on eviction from a private residential tenancy.
If you have an assured or short assured tenancy
Your landlord must give you a valid notice to quit, and either an AT6 form or a section 33 notice.
If you get an AT6 form
Your landlord can use eviction ground 15: nuisance or annoyance.
You must get 2 weeks' notice before they can apply to the tribunal for an eviction order. You do not have to move out by the date on your eviction notice.
This ground can only be used if you or someone living with you has either:
caused nuisance or annoyed your neighbours
been convicted of using the property for illegal purposes, such as dealing drugs
If you get a section 33 notice
Your landlord can only use this if you have a short assured tenancy.
They must give you at least 2 months notice before they can apply to the tribunal for an eviction order.
They do not need to use an eviction ground with a section 33 notice.
Check our guidance on eviction from an assured or short assured tenancy.
The eviction ban
For some eviction grounds, there's a temporary eviction ban.
The eviction ban does not apply to any eviction grounds for antisocial behaviour. The court or tribunal does not have to delay the eviction.
Getting legal advice and representation
As soon as you get an eviction letter, get legal advice from a solicitor. Ask them to represent you.
A solicitor can:
explain your rights
respond to court or tribunal letters
negotiate with your landlord
make a case to stop the eviction
Check our advice on getting legal help for free or at a lower cost.
Some advice agencies can represent you or refer you for legal representation. You could:
What to tell the court or tribunal
If you cannot get legal representation for a hearing, you can explain your circumstances and ask the court or tribunal not to evict you.
Tell them what steps you’ll take to stop the behaviour.
Explain if your behaviour is a direct result of your disability or medical condition. The court or tribunal must take this into account. Provide medical evidence such as a letter from your GP.
Tell the court if the council or housing association did not follow their antisocial behaviour policy.
Check our advice on:
Check your housing options
If you get an eviction notice, it's important to look into your housing options from an early stage. You can try:
If you’re accused of antisocial behaviour, you can be temporarily suspended from social housing lists. This means you will not be offered a home until the suspension is lifted.
Check what the council or housing association’s allocation policy says about suspensions when you apply.
Getting homeless help
Contact the council and tell them you're being evicted. They have a duty to help if you're at risk of homelessness.
Do not move out if you have nowhere else to go. If you leave before an eviction order has been granted, it could be harder to get homelessness help from the council.
The council must take a homeless application if it is not reasonable for you to continue living in your home until the tribunal makes a decision. For example, if you’re at risk of violence or threats if you stay in your home.
Check our advice on making a homeless application.
If you’re not a British or Irish citizen
Your rights to homeless help could be different.
Check our advice on how your immigration status affects your housing options.
Last updated: 3 October 2023