Know your rights in the event of a lock-change eviction.

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Question: What should I do if Serco try to enter my home to evict me?

Please try to stay calm

If Serco try to enter your house, you can say no and tell them you are getting legal advice to challenge their notice of eviction.

Explain to Serco (and the Home Office or the Police if they are with Serco at the door) that you do not have to let them into your home unless they give you:

Valid ID (identification)

AND

A letter – called a Warrant from the Sheriff Court that gives them legal permission
to enter your home. If they do not have a Warrant then they cannot enter unless there are reasonable grounds for them to do so

OR

A letter from Serco explaining that they need to enter your home for example because they need to carry out urgent or emergency repairs or conduct a housing inspection. Unless it is an emergency, Serco are required to give you notice of any repairs visits or housing inspections and it is not OK for them to contact you with little or no notice.

Question: can I refuse to leave?

Yes, you can refuse to leave.

It is important that you remain calm and do not argue with the Serco officers.
Try to stop the situation getting out of control by calmly telling the officers that you are staying in your home.
Remaining calm can help stop Serco having any reason to call the Police on the basis that there is a disturbance.
Please also remember to keep with you any important documents or cards about your asylum case, and any other important papers, especially if you leave the house unoccupied at any time.

Question: can Serco, the Home Office or Police use force to make me leave?

No. The officers are not allowed to use force against you as this will amount to assault or harassment. Stay calm at all times.

If you are arrested, the Police must advise you of this and explain your rights to you.

In arresting you, the Police cannot use excessive force.

You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Question: who can I contact for help?

If you already have a housing lawyer, contact them as soon as you can.

For advice and assistance to access urgent housing legal advice contact Scottish Refugee Council on 0141 223 7979.
Email: dass@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk

You can also contact the following organisations for support and advice:

British Red Cross 0141 331 4170

Maryhill Integration Network 0141 946 9106

Govan Community Project 0141 445 3718

The ASH Project 07736 646197

(This list is non-exhaustive.)

 

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Author: Chris Afuakwah