Blog: Campaign wrap-up: Illegal Evictions – Know Your Rights
Debbie King reports back on Shelter Scotland’s Illegal Evictions campaign
We’ve now come to the end of the Illegal Eviction – Know Your Rights campaign where we worked with Police Scotland, Crimestoppers Scotland and the Scottish Association of Landlords. The information campaign raised awareness about the legislation which protects private tenants from being forced to leave their home illegally. There is a formal legal process a landlord must go through to ask tenants to leave.
Through the campaign we wanted to ensure that both tenants and landlords are aware of their rights and responsibilities and that the police are aware that illegal evictions are a criminal and not a civil matter.
Any tenants facing harassment to leave their property, or if they are forced to move out as the landlord has for example changed the locks or cut of essential services should seek help immediately from the police. Police Scotland have run an internal information campaign about the legislation and will continue to raise awareness about supporting tenants who report illegal evictions to them.
We toured the country with our campaign partners speaking to the public about the issue of illegal evictions – we had 5 successful campaign days in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Stirling and Dundee. We had very good media and social media coverage and worked with the Universities in these cities to spread the word about the campaign through their social media networks. We also had our HUBs services staff and volunteers helping us raise awareness about this issue.
We will continue to monitor the situation and report cases to the police to try and ensure tenants are protected from illegal evictions. During the 5 month campaign period we had over a 100 illegal evictions cases reported to us though our helpline – with many more over the whole year being brought to our attention. We know there are many good landlords who carry out good practice with regard to tenants’ rights, however there are some landlords who are either unaware of the legislation or choose to ignore it. So the work continues to protect tenants from illegal evictions and to highlight tenants and landlords rights and responsibilities.