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Eviction before the end of your 1991 Act lease

If you have a 1991 Act agricultural tenancy, your written lease should say how long your tenancy lasts and when your lease expires. Your landlord can only evict you before this date in special circumstances. This page looks at what you can do if you're in this situation.

In what circumstances can my landlord evict me?

Your landlord can only evict you before the date on which your lease expires if:

  • you break a condition of your lease, or
  • you become bankrupt, or
  • you don't pay your rent.

This applies regardless of whether or not you inherited your tenancy.

Eviction for breaking a condition of the lease

Your landlord may be able to evict you if you break a condition of your lease, for example if you deliberately damage the land in some way. However, they can only do this if your written lease specifically states that breaking that condition gives your landlord the right to evict you. (This is known as an 'irritancy clause'.) Even if there is an irritancy clause in your lease, your landlord may not be able to evict you. Talk to a solicitor if you are in this situation - they may be able to help you prevent or delay the eviction.

Bear in mind that your landlord can't insist that you live on the holding and can't use non-residency as a reason to evict you. However, your lease may require you to ensure that someone else with the experience and skills to run the holding lives on the land.

Eviction for non-payment of rent

If you have built up six months' worth of rent arrears, your landlord can raise an action in the Land Court to have you evicted at the next Whitsunday (28 May) or Martinmas (28 November). The Land Court will agree to eject you from the holding unless you can pay back the arrears or can prove that you have enough assets (for example, shares, bonds or stock) to safeguard payment of the rent due and an additional year's rent as well. If you do have to leave, you must be given at least four weeks' notice and you will be entitled to compensation for any improvements to the agricultural property that you've carried out.

You can find out more about dealing with rent arrears here. Talk to an adviser on Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444 or from Citizens Advice if you are having money problems - they may be able to help you sort things out.

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The important points

  • Your landlord can evict you before your agreement expires if you break a condition of your lease, become bankrupt or fail to pay your rent.
  • A clause is called an irritancy clause if your agreement specifies that breaking this condition of the agreement will result in eviction. Despite this, your landlord may not be able to evict you if you break this condition.
  • Your landlord cannot make you live on the holding, so they can't use non-residency as a reason to evict you.
  • If you have built up six months rent arrears your landlord can raise an action in the Land Court to evict you on the next 28 May or 28 November.

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