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Eviction if you’re a Gypsy Traveller

Your rights to stay on a site depend on where you live and who owns the land.

Get a solicitor to check your rights if you’re being told to leave.

If you’re being evicted from brick and mortar housing, use our tenancy checker to work out your rights.

You should not be discriminated against when living on a site. Check our advice on how to deal with housing discrimination.

Eviction from a council site

The council has to give you an occupancy agreement when you move to the site. This agreement tells you the eviction process they must follow.

If they decide to evict you, the council will send you a letter. It will be called either:

  • a notice to quit

  • a removal direction

It will give you a date to leave. It must give you at least 28 days’ notice.

Your occupancy agreement will say if you’re entitled to a longer notice period.

If you do not leave

The council has the right to remove you after the date on your notice.

Get advice from a solicitor if you want to challenge the eviction in court.

Eviction without a court order could be against your human rights.

If you’re living on unauthorised council-owned land

Unauthorised sites do not have a licence or planning permission.

The council should not evict you from land they own unless:

  • they need the land for something else

  • your presence is causing them a problem, such as a public health hazard

Before evicting you, the council’s Gypsy Traveller liaison officer must visit you and discuss your circumstances.

Tell them what impact eviction will have on you and your family. For example, if it will disrupt your children’s education.

The council must also consider its duties to:

  • prevent homelessness

  • consider your human rights

  • provide you with health and welfare services

  • look after the rights of any children in your household

  • provide education to any children of school age

Find your local council's liaison officer on

Eviction from a private mobile home site

Your rights depend on whether:

  • you own or rent your home

  • the site is protected or unprotected

A protected site has planning permission and a site licence from the council. The site should have its licence displayed.

Check our advice on eviction from a mobile home site.

If you’re being harassed or pressured to move out by a private site owner, check our advice on stopping an illegal eviction.

Eviction from private land

If someone allows you to stay on their land, they usually need planning permission from the council.

The council can tell you to leave if there’s no planning permission.

Before making you leave, the council’s liaison officer should visit the site to meet you and check if planning laws have been broken.

If the landowner gets an enforcement notice or a stop notice from the council, they’ll need to follow what it says. Otherwise they can be fined or imprisoned.

If you park on private land without permission

You do not have rights to stay on land without permission.

The landowner can:

  • apply for a court order to evict you

  • ask the council or police to evict you

  • evict you themselves, as long as they do not damage your property or injure you

If the police try to make you leave

The police can only evict you if the landowner or council have already tried to make you leave.

They can only do this when 2 or more people are staying on land without permission and either:

  • you’ve damaged the site or land

  • you’ve parked 6 or more vehicles there

  • you’ve behaved antisocially to the landowner, an occupier or their family

The police must consider:

  • what could happen if they make you leave

  • what could happen if you stay put

  • if everyone on the site needs to be moved

  • the site's history, for example, how long the site has been used by the Gypsy and Traveller community

Get legal advice from a solicitor if you think the police have not done this or they should not be making you leave.

Getting legal advice and representation

A solicitor can:

  • explain your rights

  • respond to court letters

  • negotiate with the council or site owner

  • make a case to stop the eviction

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland

Check our advice on getting legal help for free or at a lower cost.

You can also get advice from the Friends, Families and Travellers organisation.

Getting homeless help

You may be classed as homeless if you cannot find anywhere to park your home. You do not have to be living on the streets to be homeless.

The council must give you temporary accommodation if you need it. This can be a council pitch.

If there are no available pitches, they can offer you brick and mortar housing.

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

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England