Eviction process for assured tenants
If you rent from a private landlord and have an assured tenancy, you can only be evicted if your landlord follows the correct procedures. Find out when landlords have the right to evict assured tenants and the eviction procedures for assured tenancies.
COVID-19: Changes to notice needed
The Scottish Government brought in new rules on 7 April 2020 to extend the notice period required to be given to tenants before legal action to obtain an order for eviction can be started.
This is not a ban on evictions, it just means that in most cases there is a longer delay between the landlord starting the process and the date that they can apply to the tribunal. The section below on Notice of proceedings gives more information about this.
In addition to the extending of the notice period need, all grounds are now discretionary. This means the Tribunal must consider the 'reasonableness' of the request of an eviction order.
Winter 'eviction ban'
The Scottish Government brought in new rules which will ban eviction enforcement action for a short period of time.
the ban covers both social rented and private rented sector tenancies
the ban will be in force everywhere in Scotland from 11 December 2020 – 22 January 2021
In Tier 3 and 4 areas, the ban will continue 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.
The eviction process for assured tenants
In most cases your landlord will need to follow the steps below in order to evict you. However, in a few cases, a landlord might be able to skip serving you a notice to quit (see below). If you have any doubts you should get advice as soon as possible. The process is as follows:
You will be served with a notice to quit.
You will be served with a notice of proceedings.
Your landlord also has to serve a Section 11 notice to your local council (see below for what this means).
Your landlord has to apply to the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber.
You will be sent a notice of acceptance of application telling you when your case will be heard.
Your case will be heard at the tribunal.
If the tribunal grants an order, sheriff officers will be sent round to remove you from your property.
If your landlord doesn't follow the correct procedure for evicting you, the eviction will be illegal and you may be able to stay in your home or get compensation. Find out more about illegal eviction here.
If your landlord does serve you with a summons they also have to serve a notice on your council, this is called a section 11 notice. It informs the council that your landlord intends to evict you from the property and you could end up being homeless. When the council receives the notice they may get in touch to offer to help you. Depending on your situation, the council could offer to intervene and try and stop the eviction or advise you of your housing options if you do become homeless.
Notice to quit - what is this?
A notice to quit is a written document notifying you that your landlord wants to end your tenancy. You do not have to leave your home if you have received a notice to quit. Your landlord will have to get an order from the tribunal before you may have to leave. For a notice to quit to be valid it must:
be in writing
state the length of notice you have been given
the notice to quit has to tie in with the ish date (the date when your tenancy agreement terminates).
state that once the notice has run out, the landlord still has to get an order from the tribunal before you have to leave
notify you that you can seek independent advice about the notice and tell you where you may be able to get advice from.
The length of notice you have to be given depends on how long your tenancy is for:
If your tenancy lasts for more than four months, the minimum notice period is 40 days.
If your tenancy lasts for four months or less, the notice period should be at least one-third of the length of the tenancy, and no less than 28 days.
I got a notice to quit so what should I do?
If you receive a notice to quit, talk to your landlord. They may issue a notice to quit at any time and may not intend to end the tenancy in the near future. For example, they may be issuing you with a notice to quit because they want to change the terms of your tenancy agreement. In addition, issuing a notice to quit in advance saves time if they do want to end the tenancy in the future.
Does my landlord have to serve me a notice to quit?
The quick answer to this would be yes, your landlord does need to serve you with a notice to quit. However, If you have not been served with a notice to quit and have an ongoing written tenancy agreement then your landlord can try to evict you using particular grounds, this depends what is written into the tenancy agreement. Those grounds are numbers 2, 8, 11-14 and 16.
What is a notice of proceedings (AT6)?
in addition to a notice to quit, your landlord must also send you a notice of proceedings. This can be sent at the same time as the notice to quit, or at a later date. If the two notices are sent at the same time, the notice periods will run at the same time.
A notice of proceedings is a document telling you that your landlord wants to start legal proceedings to get their property back. It should be on a special form called an AT6. You can see what an AT6 should look like.
For a notice of proceedings to be valid it must state:
the reasons or grounds why the landlord wants their property back
information about these reasons and how they apply to you.
There are 17 different grounds that a landlord can use to try to have you evicted. If your case goes to tribunal, the Tribunal uses these grounds to decide if you should be evicted. You can find out more about each ground for eviction that can be used.
How much notice should I get?
Due to the coronavirus outbreak the Scottish Government brought in new rules to extend the notice period before court or tribunal action for eviction can be started.
The length of notice you are entitled to will depend on when the notice was served and the grounds being used. Your landlord must wait until your notice has run out before they can ask the tribunal for a date to hear your case.
Its important to keep in mind that this is not a ban on evictions. It does mean in most cases there will be a longer gap between notice being served and the date the landlord can apply to the tribunal.
For example, if your landlord is evicting you for rent arrears they must now give you at least six months’ notice before they can apply to the tribunal but for some grounds the notice periods may be shorter.
You can check what notice period applies in your case using the Shelter Scotland Factsheet: Notice periods for assured and short assured tenants
After the notice period has expired your landlord will still need to get an eviction order from the court.
After the notice period ends your landlord then has six months to apply to the tribunal. If your landlord has not started legal proceedings (i.e. made an application to the tribunal) within six months of the date stated on the notice, they will have to start the process again by
sending you another notice of proceedings.
The First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber
Your landlord will then need to apply to the The First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber.
If the application is accepted, then the Tribunal will send you a notice of acceptance of application. This informs you of the details of the application and the date by which any written representations must be made, normally 14 days after receiving the notice. You will then get a second notice telling you when the hearing will take place, normally between 12 and 28 days after receiving the second notice.
If you receive a notice of acceptance of application or any paperwork from the First Tier Tribunal and Property Chamber you should seek advice on whether you can defend the action. Speak to one of our advisers or contact a solicitor.
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Last updated: 10 December 2020
Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
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