Your rights as a tenant
Housing issues will always arise, so it is important you know your rights and responsibilities. You could also find yourself threatened with eviction if you can't cope with rent / mortgage payments. This information will help you find advice on handling problems with your landlord and help to avoid losing your home.
Below are some frequently asked questions about your rights as a tenant.
Can a landlord evict you for no reason?
The good news is No, a landlord cannot evict you for no reason. Eviction is a legal process. Your landlord cannot just say they want to evict you. They need a legal reason to evict you and this must be approved by a court. If they do not follow a legal process then you have certain rights. You should make sure you contact a local Law Centre who can offer free legal advice.
What happens if your lease ends and your landlord does not want to renew?
Your landlord must give you formal written notice that they want you to leave the property. The notice will declare the landlord's intention to have you vacate the property. It must also set out the reason why they are seeking to recover the property. The reasons (or grounds) that the landlord is using to recover the property will affect your notice period.
If they do not follow a legal process then you have certain rights.
You should make sure you contact a local Law Centre who can offer free legal advice.
How long can I stay in the accommodation after I receive an eviction notice?
Your landlord must give you formal notice that they want you to leave and this should have the date when they want you to leave by. They must give you at least 28 days notice. This is called a Notice to Quit / Notice to Leave, which is different from an eviction notice that is granted by court or the tribunal.
What is the difference between a Section 8 and Section 21 notice?
You may have heard of a Section 8 and a Section 21 notice, below explains the differences:
- a Section 8 notice should be served when a tenant is in breach of contract (for example, the landlord has grounds for possession)
- a Section 21 notice should be served when the landlord simply wants the tenant to vacate the property at the end of the tenancy or during a periodic tenancy
You can find more information on your rights as a tenant on the Citizens Advice website.
Independent legal services
It is important to know your rights and responsibilities. Rights are freedoms we have that are protected by our laws, while responsibilities are duties or things that we should do. In order to be good citizens, or members of a community, we must understand our rights and responsibilities. The law helps to defend and protect people’s rights when you know your rights, you will be able to protect yourself.
You may have more rights than you think if you are facing homelessness or have already left your home. The following links will help if you are at risk of eviction, risk of homelessness and you may have legal rights to stay in (or return to) your home:
- Law Society of Scotland: can advise you what solicitor in your area deal with the type of law your require and can also advise who accepts Legal Aid
- Law Centres Network: will help you find your local law centre who can offer free legal advice. They cover topics such as benefits, employment, housing, immigration and asylum, discrimination and debt
- Citizens Advice - using a solicitor
- Scottish Government - help with a legal problem
You may also be entitled to help from the council or social services. You still have rights.
You may also find help and support from the following links: