You appear to be using an unsupported browser, and it may not be able to display this site properly. You may wish to upgrade your browser.

Unlawful evictions

Illegal evictions

Illegal eviction is when someone, who doesn't have the legal right to make you leave, forces you to leave your home. This can include your landlord if they do not have an eviction order from the First-tier Tribunal. Illegal eviction is a criminal offence. The emergency measures do not change this, but they do increase the damages which you can be awarded if you are unlawfully evicted.

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 continually turning up at your home late at night or cutting off your water, gas or electricity)
  • you are physically removed from the property by a person who is not a Sheriff Officer

If your landlord tries to force you out of your home, tell them in writing that this is illegal.

Keep a diary and collect evidence of all your landlord's actions against you. For example, any photographs, emails and letters. This will help if you need to take your landlord to court at a later date.

If your landlord threatens to illegally evict you then report this to the police immediately. You can call the police on 101.

If you are being physically threatened or forced out of your home by your landlord, call 999.

Find more information on illegal eviction and landlord harassment on the Shelter Scotland website.

Damages for unlawful evictions

The new measures temporarily change the way civil damages can be awarded for an unlawful eviction. If you are unlawfully evicted after 28 October 2022, the Tribunal can award you damages of:

  • minimum 3 times the monthly rent
  • maximum 36 times the monthly rent.

The Tribunal can also decide to set the damages at a level lower than the minimum amount if it considers this is appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

If you have a joint landlord, the Tribunal may make the order against all, some or only one of them.

The Tribunal must also send a copy of the order awarding damages to the Police and the local authority where the landlord is registered, so that they can decide if any further action should be taken against your landlord.

Wrongful termination of your tenancy

Wrongful termination of a tenancy is when you have been misled into ending the tenancy. This is different from an illegal eviction or an unlawful eviction.

This only applies to tenants who had a private residential tenancy. If you are not sure, you can check what type of tenancy you have.

If your private residential tenancy has ended and you think you were misled into ending the tenancy, you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a 'wrongful termination order'.

The Tribunal may make a wrongful termination order if it decides that your landlord:

  • misled the Tribunal into issuing an eviction order it shouldn't have
  • wrongly made you leave the property (for example, if you were given a notice telling you to leave the property because a particular eviction ground applied when this was not true, and you moved out because of this).

If your landlord gets a wrongful termination order they'll be told to pay you up to 6 months' rent.

If you have a joint landlord, the Tribunal may make the order against all, some or only one of them.

If the Tribunal makes a wrongful termination order, they must also send a copy to any local council where your landlord is registered as a landlord.

Back to top