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How to stop or delay eviction from a private tenancy

If you've been sent an eviction notice, you do not have to move out. You can ask a tribunal to stop or delay the eviction.

Use this guide to check what you can do at each step of the eviction process.

Watch the video for a quick overview of the process and your rights.

Video transcript

This video is for you if you rent from a private landlord or letting agency, you’re being evicted and you live in Scotland.

Hi, I’m Jen and I’m going to talk to you about eviction in the private rented sector in Scotland.

If you rent from a private landlord or letting agency in Scotland, they cannot just kick you out.

There is a very strict legal process that they must follow.

It has 3 main steps.

I’m going to talk to you about each step, and what you can do.

Step 1: your landlord must give you a valid eviction notice.

This must be in writing. It cannot be a text.

If you get one, you might want to talk to your landlord to see if anything can be done to stop or delay the eviction.

You should also take the notice to be checked by your council’s housing department. If it isn’t valid, your landlord will not be able to use it to evict you.

Step 2: your landlord must get permission from a tribunal to evict you.

Tribunals are like courts but less formal. If you need help with the tribunal you can speak to a solicitor or housing adviser.

The main thing you need to know is that you do not have to leave your home, unless the tribunal decides that you can be evicted.

Your landlord cannot force you to leave your home before the tribunal makes their decision. If your landlord tries, call the police on 101.

Step 3: this can only happen if the tribunal gives your landlord permission to evict you.

In this case you will get a letter from the sheriff officers telling you the date on which you must leave your home.

Do not ignore any letters you get.

If you have nowhere to go you can speak to your local council about help with emergency housing. It’s a good idea to take along any letters that you’ve received from the sheriff officers or from the tribunal.

Know your rights.

Find out about your rights on the Shelter Scotland website.

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