From 6 September 2022 there is a temporary pause on the enforcement of evictions.
The eviction pause may apply to you if:
- your landlord gave you notice on or after 6 September 2022, or
- your landlord gave you notice before 6 September 2022 but the application was not accepted by the Tribunal before 28 October 2022
This means that even if the Tribunal grants your landlord an eviction order, your landlord may need to wait before they can send sheriff officers to enforce the eviction order. The maximum length of time that sheriff officers will not enforce an eviction order is 6 months, or sooner if the temporary eviction pause ends before 6 months.
If sheriff officers are not allowed to enforce the eviction order, you do not need to move out of the property until the time when the eviction order is enforced.
Eviction orders can still be enforced in certain circumstances, for example to protect other tenants and the local community.
When the pause does not apply
The pause does not apply if you are being evicted because:
- you have engaged in antisocial or criminal behaviour
- you have associated in the let property with someone who has a relevant criminal conviction or is behaving antisocially
- you have abandoned the property
- you are no longer an employee of the landlord
- the let property is to be sold by a lender
- one of the new temporary grounds for eviction apply (see below).
If an eviction order is granted by the Tribunal for any of these reasons, the eviction order can be carried out as normal. All of the usual rules for landlords using one of these eviction grounds will apply.
If your landlord gave you an eviction notice before 6 September 2022
The eviction pause will not apply to your tenancy if your landlord:
- gave you the correct type of notice for your tenancy type before 6 September 2022
- gave you the correct amount of notice for your tenancy type and for the ground(s) they are using to evict you when they did this
- had already applied to the Tribunal for an eviction order before 28 October 2022 and the Tribunal has accepted the application (even if the Tribunal process has not finished yet)
This means that if the Tribunal decides it is reasonable to grant your landlord an eviction order, your landlord can enforce this. If you don’t move out once an eviction order is granted, sheriff officers can be sent to the property to remove you.
What your landlord must do
A landlord cannot evict you without going through the proper steps.
- The landlord needs a reason for eviction, called the ‘grounds for eviction’.
- The landlord has to give you the right amount of notice for the grounds they want to use.
- The notice tells you the date that the legal process to evict will start, if you do not move out.
- On that date, the landlord can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber) (‘the Tribunal’) for an eviction order.
Your landlord cannot evict you until the Tribunal gives an eviction order. This is true for all types of tenancy, but different rules apply to the process depending on what type tenancy you have.
In most cases, your landlord must give you notice before starting legal proceedings to evict you.
If your landlord gave you an eviction notice before 6 September 2022 and applied to the Tribunal before the 28th October 2022, the pause will not apply and the eviction can go ahead as it would in normal circumstances.
If you have a private landlord, the minimum period of notice which your landlord must give you will depend on the type of tenancy you have. The minimum period could be 28 days (4 weeks) but you may be entitled to 84 days' (12 weeks') notice. This will depend on:
- how long you have been living in the property
- what ground is being used to remove you
Reasons for eviction
The legal name for a reason for eviction is the ground for eviction. If you get an eviction notice, check the grounds for eviction. Landlords must use the right notice period for the grounds they give.
The Tribunal will consider the ground your landlord has said you should be evicted on, and then consider all the available information before deciding whether or not it is reasonable to issue an eviction order.
If you have a private residential tenancy, your landlord cannot end your tenancy just because they want it to end. They must issue you with a 'notice to leave', and tell you which one of the grounds they think applies to you. There are usually 18 grounds for possession, but 3 additional grounds have been added temporarily while the emergency measures are in place.
If you have an assured tenancy (including a short assured tenancy), your landlord has to serve you a “notice of proceedings for possession”. They have to tell you which of the grounds they think applies to you. There are usually 17 grounds for possession for assured tenancies, but 2 additional grounds have been added temporarily while the emergency measures are in place.
If your landlord gives you notice
If you receive a notice to leave or a notice to quit, you do not need to move out until there is an eviction order. An eviction order comes from the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).
You can stay in the property and wait for your landlord to apply to the Tribunal for an eviction order. The Tribunal will ask your landlord to prove that the ground(s) specified for eviction do apply. If the Tribunal agrees the grounds apply, they will issue the eviction order.
It is a crime for your landlord to try to physically or forcefully remove you from the property without an eviction order. This is an illegal eviction.
Report the matter to the police by calling 101, if your landlord:
- physically removes you from the property
- threatens to remove you
- changes the locks
You must continue to pay your rent even if you are under an eviction order.
Temporary new grounds for eviction
There are also three new grounds for eviction where the pause will not apply. Your landlord can use these grounds if:
- they intend to sell the let property due to financial hardship (this applies to private residential tenancies only)
- they intend to live in the let property due to financial hardship
- you have substantial rent arrears which add up to 6 months’ rent or more.
If your landlord is evicting you for one of these reasons, the Tribunal will look at all the information in the case, and decide whether to evict you.
If the Tribunal grants your landlord an eviction order for any of these reasons, the eviction order can be carried out as normal.
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