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Step 1: Find out the eviction process and what housing law arguments you might have

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus - protection for tenants

The Scottish government has introduced measures to protect renters. If you're behind with your rent, your landlord can't evict you unless they give you six months' notice. Your landlord must still follow the correct legal procedure in the courts.

Read more about what to do if you have rent arrears.

If you're a private-sector tenant, your landlord must go to the First-tier Tribunal to get an eviction order. The tribunal must consider if it's reasonable to evict you in the circumstances.

Hearings that were postponed because of coronavirus resumed from 9 July 2020.

Get the latest information about evictions on the Shelter Scotland website.  

Check what housing law defences you have

Discrimination law isn't the only argument you can use to try to stop your eviction. There are other defences under housing law that everyone can use, whether they have a protected characteristic or not.

The first step is to find out what type of tenancy you have, and then, based on your type of tenancy:

  • the process the landlord has to use legally to evict you

  • whether or not you can challenge your eviction

  • what housing law arguments you might have

  • whether you defend it in the sheriff court or the First-tier Tribunal

Housing law defences might include, depending on your circumstances, that the:

  • landlord hasn’t used the correct eviction procedure

  • eviction isn’t reasonable

  • grounds of eviction the landlord is using aren’t valid

You should always check whether these are available to you first before checking whether you have a discrimination argument. If there aren't any housing law defences that apply in your situation you can just use discrimination law alone.

Check you're facing eviction for the housing law arguments for your tenancy type.

If you’re not sure what type of tenancy you have

You may have either a public or private tenancy, depending on who your landlord is. There are types of tenancies within these broad categories.

Your tenancy agreement will usually state the tenancy type but bear in mind this might not be correct.

If you rent from a council or housing association (public sector landlords), you will normally have a Scottish secure tenancy or sometimes a short Scottish secure tenancy.

If you rent from an individual or through a letting agent, you're a private tenant. Check types of private tenancies.  

You can also use the tenancy checker tool on the Shelter Scotland website and/or get help to determine what kind of tenancy you have.

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