This topic is aimed at tenants who are risk of losing their tenancy. If you are living in a council or Housing Association home but are not the tenant, you may be a 'qualifying occupier' - for more help see Qualifying Occupiers.

If your landlord tells you that you need to leave, please contact our housing options team on 01620 827 563 to get help and advice as soon as possible. The quicker you contact us the quicker we can support you before a crisis situation happens.

1. Eviction from a council or housing association home

          1.1 What happens at court

          1.2 Representation at court

          1.3 How can I get help

2. Eviction from a private let

           2.1 Assured tenancies

           2.2 Short assured tenancies

           2.3 What is a notice to quit

           2.4 What should I do if I receive a notice to quit

          2.5 Looking for other accommodation

           2.6 Private residential tenancy

3. How can our Prevention team help

1. Eviction from a council or housing association house

If you rent your home from the council, a housing association or housing co-operative, you will probably have a Scottish secure or short Scottish secure tenancy agreement. This means the landlord must have at least one reason (or 'ground') to evict you.

To repossess your home the landlord has to start legal proceedings in court. However before they can do this, they must serve on the tenant (and every qualifying occupier) a 'notice of proceedings'. This will tell you which ground the landlord is relying upon.

The landlord can only evict you when they have an order from the sheriff court. The sheriff may not grant an order, if they do not feel it is reasonable to do so. Even if an order is granted, then you do not have to move until the date given on the order. If you have not moved by that date, however, sheriff's officers can come to remove you and your possessions.

1.1 What happens at court

At court, the sheriff will look at the circumstances and decide whether or not it is reasonable to grant an eviction order. The sheriff may decide that it is not necessary to evict you immediately, but that the eviction be delayed, on the basis that you keep to a legally-binding agreement to pay any arrears (for example).

For more information on the various decisions a court can make, go to the Court page of the Shelter Scotland website.

1.2 Representation in court

It is possible that you can have legal representation in court, to argue the case for you to be allowed to stay, or for there to be a different outcome, other than eviction. Advice on this can be found in the Getting Help at Court page on the Shelter Scotland website.

1.3 How can I get help?

You can get help and advice from a number of sources

  • Ask for help from our Prevention Team on 0800 169 0611. This will include advice about our duties towards you, if you are made homeless through being evicted.
  • Get advice from Citizens Advice
    Haddington CAB on 01620 824471
    Musselburgh CAB on 0131 653 2748 or 0131 653 2544
  • Shelter Scotland

2. Eviction - Private Tenants

If you rent your home from a private landlord you are probably an assured, short assured or private residential tenant.

2.1 Assured Tenants

There are a number of grounds under which a private landlord can seek to get their property back, by serving a notice and applying to the court for an eviction order. For a full explanation, visit the Eviction of Assured Tenants page of the Shelter Scotland website. If you have received a notice to quit on any ground(s), take a copy of this notice to one of the following, to ensure that it is valid:

If it is not valid, the landlord cannot go ahead with the eviction procedure and will have to serve a new, valid notice.

2.2 Short Assured Tenants

If the landlord wants you to leave when the fixed period of a short assured tenancy comes to an end they must give you a notice to quit, and give you at least two months' notice in writing that they want the property back (this is known as a section 33 notice). Once your notice to quit and/or section 33 notice has run out, your landlord still has to get a court order before they can make you leave the property. The landlord will contact the sheriff court, who will send a court summons telling you that the landlord wants you evicted. If you do not reply to the court summons, the court order for your eviction will be granted automatically.

2.3 What is a notice to quit?

A notice to quit is a written document advising the tenant that their tenancy is going to come to an end. The length of notice the tenant is given depends on how long their tenancy is for. For more information on eviction from a short assured tenancy visit Eviction if you rent from a private landlord or letting agent - Shelter Scotland

2.4 What should I do if I get a notice to quit?

Provide a copy to one of the organisations mentioned above, for checking purposes to ensure it is valid. If it is not valid, you will not have to leave the property at the moment.

2.5 Looking for other accommodation

You will have to pay rent on your existing property until the notice to quit runs out. If you currently receive housing benefit and cannot avoid having to pay rent for both your old home and any new home you have moved into, you may be able to get housing benefit for two homes for up to four weeks. See Helping you find somewhere else to live.

2.6 Private residential tenancy

If you have a Private Residential Tenancy, the tenancy can only be ended by one of three ways:

  • by a tenant giving notice and leaving or,
  • the tenant and landlord reach an agreement to end the tenancy, or
  • your landlord wants possession of the property and obtains an eviction order from the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber

To start the eviction process, your landlord must give you written notice called a notice to leave. This notice must state:

  • the day on which your landlord will be entitled to apply to the First-tier Tribunal for an eviction order, and
  • which ground is being used

If you agree to leave the property, the tenancy will come to an end at the end of the notice period. For more information on private residential tenancies and eviction please visit, Eviction if you have a private residential tenancy - Shelter Scotland

If you have received a notice from your landlord to end your tenancy you can contact our Housing Options Team on 01620 827 563.

3. How can the Prevention Team help?

Our Prevention Team will check whether the landlord has followed the correct procedure. If possible we will negotiate with them to make sure this really is the last resort, and that they have given you a fair chance to put things right. If you have to move, we will give you advice and assistance to find somewhere else to live - and will help you to know if you can afford it. If you are faced with homelessness, we will assess whether or not your actions contributed towards your homelessness (in which case, we may find you intentionally homeless. In these circumstances, we need not provide you with alternative social housing, but we will do our best to make sure you can arrange some accommodation. If you have children, we may refer you to the duty social work team.