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Moving Out and Evictions

What procedures have to be followed at the end of the tenancy.

Moving out of your property

If you want to leave the property, you should give your landlord notice. If you are a private residential tenancy tenant, then this is normally 28 days’ notice.

If you are a short assured or an assured tenant, then your tenancy agreement should say if you can end your tenancy before the fixed term is up, and how much notice you need to give in this case. If your tenancy agreement doesn't mention this, you may find your landlord can still charge you rent until the fixed term is over.

Walking away from a tenancy without giving notice may make it harder for you to rent a new property in the future.


Joint tenants

If you are a joint tenant and you want to end the tenancy, you will need to get the other joint tenants' permission first, as this will end the tenancy for everyone. Your landlord should make sure that everyone has given their permission before agreeing to end the tenancy.

You may be able to arrange a new tenancy agreement with your landlord, whereby:

  • another person takes on the tenancy of the person who wants to leave, or
  • you and any other joint tenants stay on and pay the extra rent yourselves.

Eviction

Your landlord can not just turn up to your door one day and ask you to leave, they have to follow the correct legal procedure.


Private residential tenancies

Your landlord will need to give you either 28 or 84 day’s notice that they intend to apply for an eviction notice. The period of notice will depend on how long you has been in the property and which ground their are applying for eviction. The form a landlord needs to use is called a ‘notice to leave’.

If you are still in the property after the notice period is over, then the landlord will have to apply to the Housing and Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal for an eviction order.

Find out more about private residential tenancy evictions.


Short assured tenancies

Short assured tenancies are normally given for a fixed length of time of 6 or 12 months. Once the fixed period is finished, the tenancy will then renew itself for another fixed period or it will continue on a month to month basis. If your landlord wants you to leave at the end, you can be evicted quite easily but there are steps your landlord must follow.

If your landlord wants you to leave when your fixed period comes to an end they must:

If you have not left by the end of the fixed period:

  • your landlord will have to tell the sheriff court that they want to evict you
  • you will be sent a summons telling you when your case will be heard at court
  • your case will come to court
  • sheriff will be sent round to remove you from the property.

Find out more about short assured tenancy evictions.


Assured tenancies

If you are an assured tenant then your landlord will need to state a reason as why they want to evict you and follow the steps below if he is wanting to evict you.

  • Serve you a notice to quit.
  • Serve you a notice of proceedings (also called an AT6 form)
  • You will be sent a summons telling you when your case will be heard in court.
  • Your case will be heard at a sheriff court.
  • If the court grants an order, sheriff officers will be sent round to remove you from your property.

If the correct procedure is not followed then you landlord won't be able to evict you.

Find out more about assured tenancy evictions.


Resident landlords

If you live in the same property as your landlord and you have a written tenancy agreement, it should tell you what your landlord can ask you to leave. This should include the amount of notice, minimum 4 weeks if not included, they have you give you.


Illegal eviction

If your landlord is attempting to force you out of your home without following the correct procedure then they will be committing a criminal offence by illegally evicting you.

Your landlord should not:

  • change the locks
  • stop you from getting into your home
  • make life so uncomfortable for you that you are forced to leave your home, for example by cutting off your water, gas or electricity supplies or by constantly turning up at your home
  • have you physically removed from the property by a person who is not a sheriff officer
  • lie in court to the sheriff in order to get a court order to evict you. This applies to all kinds of tenant, no matter what kind of tenancy or occupancy agreement you have

If you think your landlord is trying to illegally evict you, then you should call the police on 101.

Find out more about illegal evictions.

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