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Eviction for rent arrears

If you’ve not been paying your rent, the money you owe is called rent arrears.

If your landlord wants to evict you because of rent arrears, your landlord must take certain steps to help you first. They must follow these steps before they can ask the court to have you evicted.

What your landlord must do

Your landlord must:

  • give you clear information about your tenancy agreement terms, the rent you pay and any other costs you owe your landlord
  • make an effort to offer you help and advice on housing benefit or other financial help that may be available to you
  • give you information on where you can get help managing your debts
  • try to agree a payment plan with you so you can pay your arrears back
  • give you a chance to apply for housing benefits, stick to a payment plan or take any other steps to help before they start the eviction process
  • encourage you to contact the council for help, if your landlord is not the council

If your landlord asks the court to evict you

The sheriff will decide if you should be evicted. They’ll consider several factors, including:

  • how much your rent arrears is
  • how likely it is that you can pay back the arrears and any other future rent
  • the reason you got into debt – for example, illness, unemployment or benefit problems
  • what will happen if you're evicted – whether you and your family will become homeless and how easily you'll be able to  find a new home
  • how long you've been a tenant at the home and how good a tenant you were until your rent arrears started
  • if you have a joint tenancy, whether only one of you is responsible for paying the debt – if the other tenant is paying their share of the rent they may not be evicted

Getting advice on eviction for rent arrears

You can get advice from Shelter Scotland on:

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