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How to stop or delay eviction from a private tenancy

Your landlord can only make you move out by getting an eviction order from the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).

You can ask the tribunal to stop or delay the eviction.

Check your eviction rights

Your landlord or letting agent cannot just tell you to leave. They must:

  • give you a valid eviction notice in writing

  • apply to a tribunal for an eviction order if you do not move out

The eviction rules are different if you live with your landlord.

Your eviction notice

To be valid, an eviction notice usually needs to include specific information. Check what notice your landlord must give you if you have:

If you’re not sure what type of tenancy you have, check your tenancy agreement or use our tenancy checker.

If your notice says “section 21”, this can only be used in England. It’s not valid in Scotland.

The tribunal should not grant an eviction order if your notice is not valid. Your landlord usually must start the process again by sending you valid notice.

If your landlord is harassing you or pressuring you to move out, this could be an illegal eviction. Check our advice on stopping an illegal eviction.

The tribunal process

After the date on your eviction notice, your landlord can apply to the tribunal.

You have the right to stay in your home during the tribunal process.

It takes at least 2 months before you can be evicted. It often takes longer if the tribunal is busy or your case is complicated.

You'll have the chance to send information to the tribunal and to attend a discussion or hearing about your case. You can ask the tribunal to:

  • stop the eviction from happening

  • delay the eviction and give you more time to find a new home

There are no costs to go to the tribunal. You may have to pay back any money that you owe your landlord, like unpaid rent or fees.

If you decide to stay in your home after the date on your notice, use our template to tell your landlord you will not be moving out.

Template: tell your landlord you're staying in your home

Copy and paste the text below and personalise it with your details.

Subject: Staying in my home after the notice expires

I’m writing to let you know that I will not be moving out by <date on your notice>. I have not been able to find a new home to move into, and leaving my tenancy would make me homeless.

I've checked my rights on the Shelter Scotland website, and I have the right to stay in my home while you apply for an eviction order. I will keep paying my rent during the tribunal process.

Please do not ask me to move out without an eviction order from the tribunal.

<your name>

You can also download the letter to send as an email attachment or through the post:

Check your housing options

Even if you want to challenge the eviction, start looking for other places to live as soon as possible.

The tribunal will usually want to see evidence that you’ve tried to find a new home.

You can try:

Keep evidence of any housing applications you make or homes you tried to rent. If it’s difficult to find a home that suits your needs, you can show this evidence to the tribunal.

Do not move out of your home if you have nowhere else to live. If you leave before an eviction order has been granted, it could be harder to get homelessness help from the council.

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