Attachments allows a landlord to seize a tenant's moveable property or attach money which is held at a tenant's premises as a means of recovering arrears. When instructing an attachment there are a few things to keep in mind – here are our top ten tips:

  1. Make sure you have either a document (such as a lease or minute of agreement) registered in the Books of Council of Session or a Decree following a court judgement.
  2. Be aware that you need to serve a charge for payment first. The charge will give the tenant 14 days to make payment of the arrears, failing which you can proceed with a goods and/or money attachment.
  3. You can only attach goods that the tenant owns and that are in the tenant's possession. In addition to this, certain items cannot be attached, including tools for trade, or any vehicles used by the tenant that are reasonably required by them and do not exceed a specific value.
  4. Money attachment only applies to cash and cheques and not card transactions.
  5. Attachments cannot be carried out at certain times or on certain days. This includes Sundays and public holidays, before 8am or after 8pm. If sheriff officers are in the middle of an attachment, it cannot continue past 8pm.
  6. You can proceed with an attachment at any premises in Scotland from which your tenant trades. Sheriff officers also have the power to 'open shut and lockfast places' to attach and value goods.
  7. At the point when a sheriff officer attends the tenant's premises and attaches their assets, the tenant is prohibited from disposing of them. If the tenant moves or disposes of any attached articles, then they are acting in contempt of court. The remedy for this would be to raise an action for breach of attachment.
  8. If an attachment is successfully served and 14 days have passed - without challenge by the tenant - sheriff officers will send their report to the court. Once the report has been received by the court, the sheriff officer can arrange to remove the attached items and sell them at auction. Sheriff officers must attend any auction to record any items sold.
  9. Money obtained at auction may be used to pay the sheriff officer's fees and expenses, then the balance will be used to pay what you are owed. Any surplus is returned to the tenant.
  10. If the items that were attached do not sell at auction, ownership of the goods passes to you.


Matt Farrell


Lauren Miller