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Eviction if you live with your landlord

If you rent from someone you live with, they're sometimes called a resident landlord.

Your resident landlord must give you the right amount of notice if they want you to move out. They do not need a court order to evict you.

You can get help from the council if you’re being made homeless.

Check if you have a resident landlord

To count as a resident landlord, your landlord must:

  • use the property as their only or main home

  • be living there when you move in

  • have direct access from their accommodation to yours – for example, you rent a room in your landlord’s flat

If any of these do not apply, you could have stronger rights to challenge an eviction.

When you could have stronger rights

Your landlord usually does not count as resident if:

  • you and your landlord live in separate self-contained homes in the same building

  • your landlord lives somewhere else and only stays with you occasionally

  • your landlord moved in after you did

If any of these apply, your rights depend on your tenancy type. Check our guidance on:

If you need help understanding your rights, contact a Shelter Scotland adviser.

Check the eviction process in your contract

Your contract might include rules about ending your tenancy. Your landlord must follow these rules for an eviction notice to be valid.

For example, it might say:

  • how long your contract lasts, called a fixed term

  • if your tenancy will be automatically renewed, and for how long

  • how much notice your landlord must give to end the tenancy

Usually, your landlord cannot end your tenancy before the end of your fixed term, unless your contract says it can be ended earlier.

If your contract does not include a notice period, or if you do not have anything in writing, your landlord must give you a reasonable amount of notice. Usually this should be at least 28 days.

If your landlord gives you notice verbally, ask them for confirmation in writing. This can help you if you need to apply for social housing or make a homeless application.

If your landlord has given valid notice

You'll need to move out when your notice period ends.

Your landlord does not need a court order to make you leave. They can ask the police to remove you if you refuse to leave.

If your landlord has not given enough notice

Tell them you’ve checked your contract and you're entitled to the correct amount of notice.

Use this template to help you know what to say.

Template: what to say if your landlord has not given enough notice

I’m letting you know that I will not move out by <date you've been asked to leave>.

I have checked my contract, and you must give me <number of days> notice to end my tenancy.

I have not been able to find a new home to move into, and leaving my tenancy would make me homeless.

Please confirm that you’ll give me more time to find a new home.

What to do if you're being evicted

Negotiate with your landlord

Tell your landlord if you need more time, for example to find somewhere else to live or to save for a deposit.

If you’re being evicted for breaking a term in your contract, explain what you'll do to fix it. For example, if you're being evicted for rent arrears, arrange to pay back what you owe.

Use this template to ask your landlord for more time.

Template: ask your landlord for more time

Since you asked me to move out, I have been looking for a new home.

It's unlikely I will be able to move out by <date you’re being asked to leave>.

This is 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'm asking you to agree that I can stay until I have somewhere to move into.

I hope we can come to an agreement so that I have time to find a new home and I am not made homeless.

Please confirm if you'll allow me to stay or give me more time to find a new home.

Look for somewhere else to live

Start looking for a new home as soon as you can.

You could try:

Get homeless help from the council

Tell the council that you live with your landlord and you’re being evicted. They have a duty to help if you're at risk of becoming homeless within 2 months.

Check our advice on making a homeless application.

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.

Last updated: 15 January 2024

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England