Mortgage repossession

Finding a home after repossession

If your home has been repossessed, you may find it hard to get a mortgage or a private tenancy. The council must help you if you have nowhere to stay after repossession.

Getting homeless help from the council

You may be classed as homeless if you have to leave your home after repossession. You do not have to be living on the streets to be homeless.

The council must take a homeless application from you and look into your situation. You must be given somewhere to stay temporarily if you need it.

They may also have to give you a permanent home, depending on your circumstances. They’ll look at the reasons you became homeless. The council cannot refuse to help you just because you had mortgage arrears or your home was repossessed.

Check our guidance on how the council must help you if you’re homeless.

Renting from the council or a housing association

To get a list of social housing providers contact the council’s housing team on mygov.scot.

There are no affordability or credit checks, so repossession does not affect your ability to rent from the council or a housing association.

You'll usually fill in paper forms or apply online. Once you apply you’ll be put on the waiting list until a suitable home becomes available. Check our guidance on applying for social housing.

When a suitable home becomes available you'll be offered a Scottish secure tenancy, which gives you strong rights. Check our guidance on your rights in a Scottish secure tenancy.

Renting from a private landlord or letting agent

To rent privately, contact local letting agencies and check online on websites like S1 Homes, Rightmove, Zoopla and Gumtree. Check our guidance on finding a private rented home.

Some private landlords and letting agencies will do affordability and credit checks before renting to you. Repossession can affect both of these.

You’ll be given a private residential tenancy to sign. Check your rights if you have a private residential tenancy.

Checks to make before renting privately

Before you give a prospective landlord any money ask for their:

  • full name

  • address, in the United Kingdom

  • contact number and email address

  • landlord registration number

Most private landlords have to register with the council before they can rent out a property. If they’re not registered this is illegal, do not rent from them. If you’re not sure, check if your landlord should be registered.

If you’re renting from a letting agency they need to be registered, as well as the landlord they’re working for. Search the letting agent register to check they’re on it.

Landlords and letting agents must include their registration numbers on all property adverts.

Buying a new home

Repossession will stay on your credit rating for 6 years. This makes it harder to get another mortgage.

There are mortgage brokers who specialise in finding lenders who will give you a mortgage after repossession. You may have to pay a larger deposit and a higher interest rate.

Check your credit rating

You can check what information the 3 main credit agencies hold on you. There may be a charge for using their services. Check your credit rating and find tips to improve it with:

Last updated: 17 March 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England