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Using discrimination law to challenge your eviction in Scotland

This advice applies to Scotland

Get advice before you take any steps to move out

In most cases it's not enough for a landlord to verbally ask you to leave or even send you a letter saying you have to move out by a certain date.

Depending on the type of tenancy you have there's a set legal process they have to go through, including:

  • giving you an eviction notice in a way set out in law

  • applying to the sheriff court or the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland for an eviction order, and notifying you they're doing this

  • attending a court or tribunal hearing to ask for an eviction order.

It's likely you'll have opportunities to challenge your eviction but if you move out, you might be seen as abandoning your tenancy and you could lose any chance you had to challenge the eviction.

Get advice

You should try to find someone to help you prepare your case if you can. This might be a lawyer or an experienced adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you want to get a lawyer, check if you can get help with legal costs

If the landlord changes the locks, refuses rent or cuts off utilities

If the landlord is trying to make you move out by making it impossible for you to live in the property, this could be illegal eviction. For example, if they:

  • change the locks

  • cut off your electricity or gas

  • refuse to accept rent payments

  • threaten or harass you.

You could apply for an order to reinstate you in your home or claim damages at court. You should get help from a specialist adviser at your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you’ve already got an eviction order

Even if they get an eviction order, it's not too late to get advice. You don't have to leave voluntarily until the date on the order.

If you’re a private tenant and you stay past the date on the order, the landlord has to apply again to the court or tribunal for permission to use sheriff officers to evict you. You will then be told that date on a final eviction notice.

In some cases you can appeal the eviction or have it recalled. The following steps are designed for people whose cases haven't come to court or tribunal yet. Instead of following this advice you should contact an adviser who can help you decide what to do next. Act quickly because there might be strict time limits, as there are for appealing, for example. 

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