Skip to main content
Shelter Logo

Eviction if you rent from the council or a housing association

What happens when the court grants an eviction

You can still negotiate with the council or housing association to delay or stop the eviction.

In certain circumstances, you can appeal or recall the sheriff court's decision.

If they decide to enforce the eviction, you'll get a letter from sheriff officers telling you when you need to leave.

Contact the council's homeless team for homeless help and advice on finding a new home.

Negotiating to delay or stop an eviction

When the council or housing association has a court order, they do not have to make you leave immediately.

Speak to the council or housing association. Ask what you can do to avoid eviction. You can agree:

  • a new repayment plan if you have rent arrears

  • to stop certain behaviour if you're accused of antisocial behaviour

Contact a Shelter Scotland adviser for advice on negotiating and your housing options after an eviction is granted.

Appealing an eviction order

You can only appeal when the sheriff did not follow the law or court procedures correctly.

You must appeal within 14 days of the eviction order. Get legal advice from a solicitor to help you.

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland

Check our advice on getting legal help for free or at a lower cost.

Recalling a decision if you did not go to court

In certain cases you can recall the decision so the case is heard again. This is sometimes called a minute for recall.

You must do this as soon as possible, as you cannot recall the case after you’re evicted.

You can only do this when all of the following apply:

  • an eviction order was granted

  • no-one was there to represent you

  • you were not there to represent yourself

  • you have not recalled the case before

It also depends on what type of hearing the decision was granted at.

Get legal advice from a solicitor or housing adviser. They can check if the case can be recalled and help you apply.

Being evicted by sheriff officers

If the council or housing association decides to enforce the eviction, you’ll get a letter from sheriff officers. This is called a charge for removing.

The letter will say a date and time you must leave by. You will 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.

Get homeless help from the council

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.

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

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.

The council can also help you:

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: 3 October 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England