Challenging an eviction order

If you weren't in court when the sheriff granted the order for eviction and there was no-one there to represent you, you may be able to get your case heard again and the decision changed. If you did go to court, in certain circumstances you may be able to appeal the court's decision. You will need to get specialist advice in order to proceed with these options.

How will I know an eviction order's been granted?

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.

Read the page on sheriff officers to find out more about the eviction process.

What is a court decree?

A decree in Scottish courts is simply another name for the court making a decision on your case, In this example for an eviction order.

What can I do?

If you did not appear in court when the sheriff granted the order to evict you and there was no-one there to represent you either, you may be able to get your case heard in court again. To do this you must lodge a minute for recall of decree.

How do I get a minute for recall?

You have to apply to court by filling in a form explaining your circumstances and the reason you want the eviction to be stopped or delayed.

It's very important you fill the form in correctly, so ask an adviser to do this for you.

What happens after the minute for recall has been lodged?

Once the minute for recall has been lodged at court, you will be given a date and time for a new hearing.

Although you can represent yourself in court, it's best to get a representative (for example, an adviser or solicitor) to go to court for you, to put your case and explain why you shouldn't be evicted. If you have a representative, you may not need to go to court yourself.

It is essential that either you or your representative attend the court hearing. You can only use a minute for recall once, so if you miss the second hearing, it's extremely likely that the sheriff will grant an order for your eviction.

What decisions can the sheriff make?

The sheriff can decide to:

  • continue the case - for example, to give you time to make payments

  • dismiss the case - for example, because you've already cleared the arrears

  • sist the case - for example, because you've made a payment arrangement with your landlord

  • grant decree.

Read the page on what happens at court to find out what these decisions mean.

What can I do if I did go to court?

If you were in court when your case was called, or there was someone else there on your behalf, you can only challenge the decision if:

  • the court did not follow the correct procedures, or

  • the court did not use the law properly to make their decision.

If you think that this might apply to your case, get advice immediately. An adviser will be able to help you establish whether you have the right to appeal and they may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help you do this. There are strict time limits for lodging appeals, so get advice straight away if you want to appeal.

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 9 April 2018

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