Dealing with your priority debts


Rent arrears fact sheets


For more information about how to deal with rent arrears, see our detailed rent arrears fact sheet for social housing tenants or for private tenants.

These fact sheets will give you practical information and advice if you are behind on your rent. They will explain your options, and the processes your landlord must follow.

Use these fact sheets to:

  • work out what kind of tenancy you have;
  • find out if there is any help you can get with your rent;
  • help you negotiate with your landlord; and
  • get advice about dealing with court or tribunal action.

These fact sheets also include some useful contacts and links for you to get further help.

Rent arrears are very important because you could lose your home if you do not pay them off.

Your right to stay in your home depends on the type of tenancy you have. Each type gives different rights. So it's important for you to find out what type of tenancy you have. If you are not sure, contact Shelter or your local Citizens Advice office. Contact us for​ more advice.

You cannot be evicted from your home without a court or tribunal order. Even if yo​u are taken to court or tribunal, this does not always mean you will automatically lose your home. Keep paying your rent and make an offer to pay off the arrears. Even if the court or tribunal decides you cannot afford to stay there, you will not be evicted from your home on the day of the hearing. There are special rules for some types of tenancy.

Before a social landlord (such as a local council or a housing association) can take court action to evict you from your home, they should follow the Scottish Government's pre-action requirements. Courts should take these requirements into account before deciding what order to make.

Extra advice:

no eviction without a court or tribunal order

You cannot be evicted for rent arrears without a court or tribunal order. However, if you have a common law tenancy (for example, you are a boarder, live in a hostel or are a hotel guest) or are a squatter, you do not have the same rights as a tenant.