Scottish housing advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)


If you get any notices from your landlord you should seek advice as soon as you can. Even if your landlord has sent you a notice, there might still be ways to prevent eviction. Speak to an adviser if you need help.

Winter 'eviction ban'

The Scottish Government brought in new rules which will ban eviction enforcement action for a short period of time.

  • the ban covers both social rented and private rented sector tenancies

  • the ban will be in force everywhere in Scotland from 11 December 2020 – 22 January 2021

  • In Tier 3 and 4 areas, the ban will continue until 31 March 2021

  • the ban only applies to the ‘enforcement’ part of eviction proceedings. It means sheriff officers can't remove a household from a property while the ban is in place.

There are some exceptions to the ban. For example, if the eviction was granted due to criminal or antisocial behaviour, then the eviction can still go ahead.

What about other parts of eviction proceedings?

  • Any current or new eviction hearings at court or tribunal can still go ahead

  • Eviction orders can still be granted by courts and tribunals

  • Landlords can still serve notice on tenants.

For more information see the section on Eviction from your home.

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.

Longer notice periods

These new rules about notice periods apply to cases where the notice was served on or after 7 April 2020 will be in place until at least 31 March 2021.

The change in the length of notice depends on the type of tenancy and what ground is used. Any cases that had already been raised before 7 April 2020 are assessed by the original rules.

For more details see the main section for your tenancy. 

If you are not sure what type of tenancy you have you can use our tenancy checker.

Illegal eviction

Your landlord has to follow the correct process to evict you from your home. Illegal eviction is a criminal offence - coronavirus doesn't change this.

Illegal eviction is when you are forced to leave your home by someone who does not have the legal right to do this.

You might be illegally evicted if:

  • your landlord changes the locks

  • your landlord stops you from getting into your home

  • your landlord makes life so uncomfortable for you that you are forced to leave your home, for example by cutting off water, gas or electricity supplies or by continually turning up at your home late at night

  • you are physically removed from the property by a person who is not a sheriff officer.

See more about illegal eviction.

What if I live with my landlord? 

If you live with your landlord, then they won't need to get a court order before they can evict you. However, your landlord should give you proper and reasonable notice that they want you to leave.

Last updated: 24 January 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England