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Early eviction before the end of your tenancy

If your landlord wants to evict you early before the end of your short assured tenancy, they will have to provide a reason or ground.

How long do short assured tenancies last?

Short assured tenancies are always given for a fixed period of time. The first fixed period must last at least six months. Once the first fixed period is finished, your tenancy can renew itself for another fixed period, or your tenancy agreement may state that it will continue on a month to month basis. You can only be evicted before the end of a fixed period if you have seriously broken a condition of your tenancy agreement.

About the eviction process

If your landlord wants you to leave before the end of your tenancy they must:

  • give you a notice to quit (there are exceptions to this, see section below)
  • give you a notice of proceedings
  • tell the First tier Tribunal for Scotland, Housing and Property Chamber that they want to evict you.

Then:

  • you will be sent a letter telling you when your case will be heard at tribunal
  • your case will go to the tribunal
  • if the tribunal agrees that it is reasonable to evict you, they will grant the decree
  • sheriff officers will be sent to remove you from the property.

What is a notice to quit?

A notice to quit is a written document telling you that your tenancy is going to come to an end. The minimum notice period is normally 40 days.

You do not have to leave your home if you have received a notice to quit. You landlord will have to get an order from the tribunal before you may have to leave.

What should a notice to quit contain?

For a notice to quit to be valid it must:

  • be in writing
  • state the length of notice you have been given
  • state that once the notice has run out, the landlord still has to get an order from the tribunal before you have to leave.

Does my landlord have to serve me a notice to quit?

The quick answer to this would be yes, your landlord does need to serve you with a notice to quit. However, there can be times when a landlord can skip the serving of a notice to quit. Below are a few examples of when your landlord needs to serve you with a notice to quit:

  • If you don't have a written tenancy agreement your landlord will have to serve you a notice to quit that ties in with the ish date.
  • If your landlord has already brought your tenancy to an end by serving you with a notice to quit and your tenancy is continuing month by month, then they don't have to serve another notice to quit, instead they will need to serve you with AT6 form (see below) stating the ground that they want to evict you with.
  • If you have not been served with a notice to quit and have an ongoing written tenancy agreement then your landlord can try to evict you using particular grounds for eviction, this depends what is written into the tenancy agreement. Those grounds are numbers 2, 8, 11-14 and 16.

What is a notice of proceedings (AT6)?

In addition to the notice to quit, your landlord must also send you a notice of proceedings. This can be sent at the same time as the notice to quit, or at a later date.

A notice of proceedings is a document telling you that your landlord wants to start legal proceedings to get their property back. It should be on a special form called an AT6. You can see what an AT6 should look like here.

What should a notice of proceedings contain?

A notice of proceedings must state:

  • the reasons that the landlord wants their property back (grounds)
  • information about these reasons and how they apply to you.

There are 17 different reasons, or grounds, that a landlord can use to try to have you evicted. If your case goes to court, the sheriff uses these grounds to decide whether you should be evicted. Find out when each ground for eviction can be used.

The length of your notice will depend on the grounds being used. Your landlord must wait until your notice has run out before they can ask the tribunal for a date to hear your case.

For example:

  • If your landlord wants to evict you to carry out building work on the property, they will have to give you two months' notice before they take legal action.
  • If your landlord wants to evict you because you have three months' worth of rent arrears, they have to give you two weeks' notice before they take legal action.

When the time on your notice has run out, your landlord can start court proceedings at any time in the next six months. The notice expires after six months. If your landlord has not started court proceedings at the end of these six months, they will have to serve another notice of proceedings before they can do so.

What should I do if I get a notice of proceedings?

Don't ignore it! Contact your landlord to find out why they have sent it. Once you know why your landlord wants to evict you, you might be able to sort out any problem. For example:

  • If you have rent arrears, you could come to an arrangement to clear them.
  • If you are waiting for housing benefit, you could provide proof, such as a receipt for handing your claim form in.
  • If there have been incidents of antisocial behaviour, you can promise that it will not happen again.

See the pages on preventing eviction and on rent arrears for more information.

If it is not possible to sort out the problem with your landlord, you should get advice. An adviser may be able to tell you what your rights are, check that the notices you have been given are valid and tell you if it might be possible to stop or delay your eviction.

What is a summons?

A summons is a letter from the tribunal to tell you that your landlord has asked for an order for you to be evicted. Before an order can be granted, your case must be heard at the tribunal.

The summons should include the date of the hearing, which should be at least three weeks after you receive the summons. It usually takes at least several weeks from the notice of proceedings being serviced to the case calling.

You can find out more about the summons.

Section 11 notice

If your landlord does serve you with an summons they also have to serve a notice on your council, this is called a section 11 notice, and it informs the council that your landlord intends to evict you from the property and you could end up being homeless.

When the council receives the notice they may get in touch to offer to help you. Depending on your situation, the council could offer to intervene and try and stop the evict or give you advice regarding your housing options if you do become homeless.

If you are a landlord, you can find out more on landlords' rights and responsibilities.

I'm a landlord looking for help

If you are a landlord and you're looking for help to evict a tenant then contact Scottish Association of Landlords or the National Landlords Association.

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The important points

  • If you have a short assured tenancy, there will be an end date in the agreement. After this date the tenancy can renew itself for another fixed period or continue on a month to month basis.
  • If your landlord wants to evict you before the end of your tenancy, for most tenancies they will need to give you a notice to quit, notice of proceedings and tell the sheriff court they are planning to evict you.
  • Your landlord will need a court order to evict you but they cannot grant it until your case has been heard at the sheriff court.

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

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