How to stop or delay eviction from a private tenancy

If the tribunal grants an eviction order

You’ll get a decision letter from the tribunal. It should explain the reasons for the eviction.

The letter should also say when the order can be enforced. You cannot be evicted until after this date.

Only sheriff officers can evict you

If you do not leave by the date on your eviction order your landlord can ask sheriff officers to remove you.

A sheriff officer will give you a document called a charge for removing. The letter will say a date and time you must leave by. You'll usually be given 14 days to leave.

If you do not move out in time

Sheriff officers can use reasonable force to remove you from the property. They can secure the property so that you cannot get back in.

Police officers can be there, but they cannot help the sheriff officers. They can arrest anyone who behaves violently.

If you have nowhere to live

Ask the council for homelessness help. They cannot refuse to help if you’re homeless or likely to become homeless in the next 2 months.

You do not have to be living on the streets to be homeless. You're legally homeless if an eviction order has been granted and you no longer have the right to stay in your home. This is even if you can stay with family or friends.

When you contact the council’s homeless team, tell them you need to make a homeless application.

The council must find somewhere temporary for you to stay as soon as you need it.

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.

If your eviction is delayed

Applying for social housing

Social housing is provided by councils, housing associations and housing cooperatives.

When you apply tell them that an eviction order has been granted. This will give you higher priority on the housing waitlist.

Check our guidance on applying for social housing.

Finding another private rented home

You can be asked for a tenancy deposit up to 2 months’ rent.

Check our guidance on finding a private rented home.

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