Your rights if your landlord is selling
Your landlord must follow a strict legal process if they want to evict you to sell the property. They can only make you leave by getting an eviction order from a tribunal.
If you’ve been given an eviction notice, take these steps:
check your eviction rights
check your housing options
decide if you want to delay or challenge the eviction
If your home is sold while you're a tenant, your tenancy rights stay the same. Your new landlord cannot make you sign a new tenancy agreement with a higher rent or different terms.
Check your eviction rights
Your landlord or letting agent cannot just tell you to leave. They must send you a valid eviction notice.
You do not have to leave by the date on your eviction notice. After this date, your landlord can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber) for an eviction order.
The notice you should get depends on your tenancy type. Your eviction rights are different if you live with your landlord.
If you have a private residential tenancy
You'll have a private residential tenancy if you moved in on or after 1 December 2017.
Your landlord must send you a legal document called a notice to leave. They must intend to put the property up for sale within 3 months of you moving out.
Your eviction notice may not be valid if it does not look like this, or if it includes misleading information.
The notice period before your landlord can apply to the tribunal is:
12 weeks (84 days) if you’ve lived there for 6 months or more
4 weeks (28 days) if you’ve lived there for less than 6 months
Check that the date written on your notice to leave matches the notice period. If it does not, the notice may not be valid.
If you have an assured or short assured tenancy
You can only have these tenancy types if you moved in before 1 December 2017.
If you have a short assured tenancy, your landlord can use a section 33 notice at the end of your fixed term. This means they do not need a reason to evict you, but they still have to follow the correct process.
If you have an assured tenancy, your landlord cannot use selling the property as a reason to evict you. They must give you an AT6 form with a valid eviction ground.
Check our advice on eviction you have an assured or short assured tenancy.
If you’ve not been given valid notice
Tell your landlord you will not be moving out and that they must follow the legal process.
You can tell them verbally or copy and paste this template into an email or text.
I'm concerned that you're not following the legal process to evict me.
I have checked my rights on the Shelter Scotland website. You have not sent me a valid eviction notice, so I will not be moving out.
What happens after your notice period
If you do not move out by the date on your notice, your landlord can apply to the tribunal for an eviction order.
You have the right to stay in your home during the tribunal process. The tribunal must:
check if your landlord gave you valid notice
check your landlord’s proof that they want to sell the property
decide if it’s reasonable to evict you, considering your and your landlord’s circumstances
The tribunal process takes at least 2 months. It often takes longer if the tribunal is busy or your case is complicated.
The eviction ban
The eviction ban means that if the tribunal grants an eviction order, you can only be evicted 6 months after the order is granted, or when the eviction ban ends, whichever is sooner.
The ban applies until 31 March 2024.
There's an exception if your landlord needs to sell because of financial hardship. For example, if their mortgage rates have gone up and they can no longer afford the mortgage. In this case, you can be evicted sooner.
Check your housing options
Even if you want to challenge the eviction, start looking for a new home as soon as you can. The tribunal will usually want to see evidence that you’ve tried to find a new home.
You can try:
You can also contact the council and tell them you're being evicted. They have a duty to help if you're at risk of homelessness.
If you want to buy the home
You could ask your landlord if they'd be willing to sell it to you. Ask them for the home report valuation if they have one.
A mortgage adviser can help you work out how much you could afford and how much of a deposit you’ll need.
Check our advice on getting a mortgage.
Delaying eviction if you need more time
Write to your landlord and explain your circumstances. Tell them that you’re looking for somewhere else to live, but you will not be able to leave by the date on your notice.
Use this template to help you know what to say.
Template: ask your landlord for more time
Copy and paste the text below and personalise it with your details.
Subject: asking for more time to find a new home
Since you sent me a notice to leave, I have been looking for a new home.
It's unlikely I will be able to move out by <date on your notice to leave>, because <explain why, for example: I'm having difficulties finding a suitable property / I have found a new home but I cannot move in yet>.
For this reason, I will have to stay in my home until at least <date>. I'm asking you to agree that I can stay until I have somewhere to move into.
As you will be aware, you must get an eviction order from the tribunal before I have to leave.
I hope we can come to an agreement so that I can find a new home and we can avoid going to the tribunal.
Please confirm in writing if you'll allow me more time to find a new home.
You can also download the letter to send as an email attachment or through the post:
Staying after your notice period
After your notice period ends, you still have the right to stay in your home. Going to the tribunal could give you more time to find a new home.
There are usually no costs to go to the tribunal.
Stopping eviction at the tribunal
You can ask the tribunal not to grant an eviction order if:
your landlord did not give you valid notice
you do not believe that your landlord intends to sell
it would not be reasonable to evict you because of your circumstances
You can go to the tribunal without a solicitor, but having someone represent you could help you stop the eviction. Check our advice on getting legal help for free or at a lower cost.
If your landlord did not give valid notice
The tribunal should not grant an eviction order. Your landlord will usually have to start the eviction process again by sending valid notice.
If you think the eviction ground is false
Send the tribunal any evidence of why you do not believe the eviction ground. For example, emails or texts that show:
you asked for repairs and your landlord sent an eviction notice
your landlord wants to rent the property out at a higher rent
your landlord wants to sell, but you have an assured tenancy and you're being evicted with a different ground
The tribunal should not grant an eviction order if your landlord cannot give proof of the ground they're using.
If you think the eviction is not reasonable
The tribunal must consider both your and your landlord's circumstances to decide if it’s reasonable to evict you.
It might not be reasonable if:
being evicted would have a serious impact on you or your family
you cannot find somewhere else suitable to live
your landlord cannot show why they need to sell the property
For example, tell the tribunal if:
you or someone in your family is disabled, and you cannot find a home that meets your access needs
moving schools would affect your children, and you cannot find a home in your local area
your landlord owns other properties that they could sell instead
Send proof such as doctor’s letters and copies of any housing applications.
The tribunal should also ask your landlord for proof of their circumstances and the reasons why they want to sell.
If your home is put up for sale while you’re living there
Your landlord must give you enough notice and get your permission if they want access to your home for viewings or surveys. You should get:
48 hours’ notice if you have a private residential tenancy
24 hours’ notice if you have an assured or short assured tenancy
You can decide if you want to be home during viewings. You can refuse access if they want to come at a time that does not suit you. Ask them to rearrange for a more suitable time.
If your home is sold with you as a sitting tenant
The new owner will become your landlord, and your tenancy will continue on the same terms.
They must follow the correct legal process if they want to evict you or increase the rent.
If the new landlord asks you to sign a tenancy agreement with different terms, you do not have to agree to this. Contact a Shelter Scotland adviser if you’re being pressured into signing a new agreement.
Last updated: 3 October 2023