A landlord cannot stop you renting their property 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 is for 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.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 is an emergency law to protect renters in Scotland during coronavirus.
The temporary law applies to all eviction notices issued on or after 7 April 2020. The Scottish Parliament has extended the law until 31 March 2022.
Before a landlord can start legal proceedings to evict, they must give the tenant notice. In most cases, the temporary law means landlords must give you at least 6 months' notice to end a tenancy.
For some cases it is 28 days. Those cases must use one of these reasons:
- you have a relevant criminal conviction
- you have engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
- someone that you chose to spend time with in the rented property has a relevant criminal conviction or has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
- you are no longer living at the rented property
If you are a student, find out about student accommodation notice periods on Student Information Scotland.
Reasons for eviction (the grounds)
The legal name for a reason for eviction is the grounds 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 temporary law makes all grounds for eviction in the private rented sector discretionary. This means that the Tribunal will be able to use discretion before deciding whether to issue an eviction order or not. They will take into account all factors relating to the impact of coronavirus on both the landlord and tenant.
If you have a private residential tenancy, your landlord cannot end your tenancy because they want it to end. They must issue you with a 'notice to leave' on one or more of the 18 grounds for repossession.
If you owe the landlord rent, there are specific rules when the landlord wants to evict you on the grounds of rent arrears during coronavirus.
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 does any of these. Your landlord:
- physically removes you from the property
- threatens to remove you
- changes the locks
You may wish to get help and advice if your landlord is trying to evict you.
Temporary ban on the enforcement of eviction orders
Before 22 January 2021
There's a temporary ban on enforcing eviction orders in Scotland. Sheriff officers cannot evict you from your private rented home before 22 January 2021.
There are exceptions for reasons related to either:
- serious antisocial behaviour
- criminal behaviour including domestic abuse
From 22 January 2021
If you live in an area under either coronavirus protection level 3 or 4, Sheriff Officers cannot currently evict you.
The same exemptions for antisocial or criminal behaviour apply.
Even if you're under an eviction order, you must continue to pay your rent.
Find out what help you can get, if you are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus.
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