A Guide to Social Housing
Evictions and moving out
You want to leave
If you want to end your tenancy, you have to give your landlord four weeks' notice in writing. If you have a joint Scottish secure tenancy, the other tenant/s must give notice also, unless they are wishing to take over your tenancy. If you are married or in a civil partnership or live with a partner, your landlord may also need their agreement before ending the tenancy.
The landlord wants to evict you
On 7 April 2020 the Scottish Government brought in new rules to extend the notice period required to be given to tenants before landlords can start legal action to obtain an order for eviction. These new rules will be in place until at least 31 March 2021.
Changes to notice periods due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Due to the coronavirus outbreak the Scottish Government brought in new rules to extend the notice period needed before an action for eviction can be started.
This is different from the temporary ban on evictions.
It does mean in most cases there will be a longer gap between notice being served and the date the landlord can apply for an eviction order.
The length of notice you are entitled to will depend on when the notice was served and the grounds being used. Your landlord must wait until your notice has run out before they can ask the court or tribunal for a date to hear your case.
For example, if your landlord is evicting you for rent arrears they must now give you at least six months’ notice before they can apply to evict, but for some grounds the notice periods may be shorter than this.
Check our page on eviction and Scottish secure tenants for more information.
Your landlord has to follow specific legal procedures to evict you. They can't just throw you out into the street overnight. For example:
you should be given a certain amount of notice before you have to leave
your landlord will need to have a reason for evicting you (for example, because are in arrears with your rent or you have broken a term of your tenancy agreement).
The eviction process
The eviction process follows these steps:
anyone living in your house who is over 16 will be sent a notice of proceedings
you will be sent a summons telling you when your case will be heard at court
your case will come to court
the sheriff will make a decision on whether to grant a decree for eviction or not
if an eviction decree is granted sheriff officers will be sent round to remove you from the property.
If your landlord is wanting to evict you get advice as soon as possible. An adviser may be able to tell you what your rights are and tell you if it might be possible to stop or delay your eviction.
Your landlord should send you a letter telling you when the eviction date is. This is called a 'Form of Charge for Removing' and must be served on you by a sheriff officer. This letter will normally give you 14 days to leave the property.
Minute for recall
If you did not appear in court, and there was no-one there to represent you when the sheriff granted the order to evict you, then you may be able to lodge a minute of recall to get your case brought back to the court.
It's very important that you complete a minute of recall form correctly. Call our free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444 to speak to an adviser.
If you become homeless due to eviction, you should contact your local council for assistance. Check our homelessness pages for more information.
Last updated: 15 October 2020