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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.

Going to the tribunal

When your landlord applies for an eviction order, the tribunal will write to you and tell you what happens next.

You'll be asked to:

  • send the tribunal information and evidence

  • attend a discussion or hearing about your case

Do not ignore any letters from the tribunal. If you do not respond or attend, it’s likely an eviction order will be granted.

Get help to go to the tribunal

Letters from the tribunal can be complicated. Get advice to help you understand what to do.

You could:

Some advice agencies can represent you at the tribunal or help you find legal representation. Getting someone to represent you could help you stop the eviction.

You can be represented by:

  • a solicitor

  • a housing adviser, support worker or other professional

  • a friend or family member

Solicitors charge for their work, but you could get legal aid to help with costs. Check our advice on getting legal aid or free legal advice.

If someone is representing you, they can help you prepare evidence and speak at the tribunal on your behalf.

You can also choose to represent yourself at the tribunal, but making arguments to stop the eviction can be complicated.

Send evidence to the tribunal

The tribunal will ask you or your representative to send them information about your situation. This is called written submissions.

Tell the tribunal what you want to happen and why. Give as much detail as you can about your situation, and send any evidence that could help your case.

Any information you send to the tribunal will also be shared with your landlord.

If the eviction ground is not valid

Your landlord usually needs a reason for the eviction, called a ground. They must show that the ground applied when they sent the notice.

Tell the tribunal if you think the ground did not apply. For example, if your landlord gave false information about:

  • something you did

  • the amount of rent arrears you had

  • why they want the property back – for example, if they’ve said they want to sell or move in, but you think this is not true

Give evidence, such as:

  • bank statements or receipts that show you paid back rent arrears

  • emails or texts about any disputes – for example, if you asked for repairs before being sent an eviction notice

  • any proof that shows your landlord wants the property back for a different reason

If the eviction is not reasonable

The tribunal must consider whether it’s reasonable to evict you. To show why it’s not reasonable, explain:

  • what impact eviction would have on you and your family

  • why it’s difficult for you to find somewhere else suitable to live

If your circumstances caused you to have problems in the tenancy, explain what happened and show that you’ve taken steps to solve the problem.

For example, if you were in rent arrears, explain why you fell behind on rent, and show that you’re making an effort to pay back the arrears.

Send evidence of why the eviction is not reasonable, such as:

  • doctor’s letters about any disabilities or health issues, including mental health issues

  • letters from social work or any other agencies that support you

  • any proof of changes to your circumstances, such as getting employment or benefits that will help you afford the rent

  • any proof that you’ve tried to find a suitable home to move into

The tribunal should also ask your landlord for proof of their circumstances and why they think it's reasonable to evict you.

Check our advice on:

If you or someone in your family is disabled

Explain how this affects you. It could be:

  • discrimination to evict you for behaviour that’s related to your disability

  • unreasonable to evict you if you cannot find another home that meets your access needs

Contact the Equality Advisory & Support Service for advice about discrimination.

If you want to delay the eviction

You can ask the tribunal to delay your eviction if you want to move out but you need more time. Explain why you cannot leave your home yet. For example, show proof that:

  • you’ve found somewhere else to live, but you cannot move in yet

  • you have priority on a social housing list and you’ll be offered a home soon

The tribunal could decide to grant an eviction order, but delay when it can be enforced.

Attend the case management discussion or hearing

When you’ve sent written submissions, the tribunal will set a date to discuss your case. You should get reasonable notice of this.

The first meeting is usually called a case management discussion. This is a discussion to help the tribunal understand all the facts about your case. They'll ask questions to understand:

  • your landlord’s circumstances and why they want to evict you

  • your circumstances and how the eviction would affect you

A decision can be made at the case management discussion.

If there’s a disagreement about the facts, or if the tribunal needs to hear more evidence before making a decision, they can hold a hearing.

Case management discussions and hearings usually happen over the phone. You’ll be given a phone number to dial into a conference call.

The conference call will include:

  • you and your representative if you have one

  • your landlord or their representative

  • a tribunal clerk, who will let you into the call and explain what’s happening

  • 1 or 2 tribunal members who will make the decision

You and your landlord can also bring witnesses to a hearing.

If you have access needs

Download the inclusive provision questionnaire on the tribunal's website. For example, if you need an induction loop or an interpreter.

Getting a decision

After the case discussion or hearing, the tribunal will decide whether to grant an eviction order.

They will write to you and your landlord with their decision and the reasons for the decision.

If an eviction order is granted, the letter should also say when the eviction order can be enforced.

You or your landlord can challenge the tribunal’s decision.

Last updated: 28 February 2024

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England