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How long does an eviction action actually take in Scotland?

Tribunal Repossession Application Timescales

The answer to "how long does an eviction action actually take in Scotland?" is much along the same lines as "how long is a piece of string?"

Obtaining an Order for Possession in Scotland is not a particularly quick process. If your application is straightforward and is not defended by your tenant, the following can be used as a general guide:-

Which route of repossession are you taking?

If the tenancy is a short assured tenancy:

  • Compulsory Repossession: this relies on a Notice to Quit and Section 33(1)(d) Notice. You give your tenant 2 months notice, tying in with the 'ish' date. If your tenant still hasn't moved out after the 2 months you can make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber) ("The Tribunal") for an eviction order
  • Tenant breaching the tenancy agreement: you serve an AT6, then depending on which ground you are relying on, you can raise an action either 2 weeks or 2 months later. Most eviction applications are on the basis of rent arrears, where there is only a 2 week notice period. After the 2 week period is up, you can make an application to The Tribunal.

If the tenancy is a private residential tenancy:

  • You will require to serve a Notice to Leave, then depending on which ground you are relying on, you can raise an action either 28 day or 84 days later. Most eviction actions are on the basis of the rent arrears ground which requires 28 days' notice. After the expiry of that period, you can make an application to The Tribunal for an eviction order.

What happens once an eviction application has been made?

The tribunal will usually acknowledge the application within 1 week of receipt.

If there are no issues with the application then an acceptance letter will be issued (around a week after the acknowledgement) to confirm that the case will proceed to a tribunal.

A Case Management Discussion or Hearing will then be assigned at which stage the tribunal will intimate the application on the tenant. The tenant will also be notified of the date which has been assigned to the case. You can usually wait anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks from the date the application is acknowledged to receive a date for the Case Management Discussion.

If the order is granted that day, you then have a further 30 days to wait before the eviction order is issued.

Only at this stage would you be entitled to instruct sheriff officers to carry out a formal eviction.

Accordingly, a straightforward undefended repossession application can take around 4 months to complete.

Please be aware, if your application is defended the case may be continued, or a full hearing assigned for evidence to be led and this can result in significant delays.

If you wish to discuss repossession applications in further detail, please to contact a member of our team.


Written by : TC Young