Eviction if you have a 1991 Act agricultural tenancy
You’ll usually have this type of tenancy if you rent agricultural land and your tenancy started before 2003.
Your landlord can only evict you for specific reasons, called grounds. If the grounds do not apply, you can challenge the eviction at the land court.
Eviction before the end of your fixed term
The end date of your tenancy should be in your written agreement. Your landlord can only evict you before this date if either:
you owe at least 6 months’ rent
you’ve gone bankrupt
you’ve broken a specific term of your tenancy agreement, sometimes called an irritancy clause
Your landlord must send you a valid notice to quit that says why they’re evicting you.
If you’re being evicted before the end of your fixed term, contact a solicitor. They could help you challenge the eviction at the land court.
Eviction at the end of your fixed term
Your landlord must send you a valid notice to quit. They must give you between 1 and 2 years’ notice.
Your landlord can only evict you for specific reasons, called grounds.
For a notice to quit to be valid, it must include:
the correct date, which must match the end date of your tenancy agreement
a valid ground for eviction
The eviction grounds are:
you have rent arrears
you’ve broken a term of your tenancy agreement
you’ve become bankrupt
the lease is for permanent pasture or grassland, and the fixed term is coming to an end
your landlord wants to use the land for something other than agriculture, and planning permission has been granted
the land court has stated within the last 9 months that you’ve not been farming the land properly
you inherited your tenancy from someone other than your parent or your spouse
If one of these grounds applies to you, you’ll usually have to leave by the date on the notice to quit.
If the grounds do not apply to you
Send your landlord a counter notice in writing to challenge the eviction. You can do this if either:
you think the ground used does not apply to you
the landlord has not given a valid ground
Your counter notice should say why the ground does not apply to you. You must send it to your landlord within 1 month of receiving the notice to quit.
If you send a counter notice, your landlord must apply to the land court. The land court will decide whether you must leave by the date on your notice to quit.
What the land court must consider
The land court must decide if evicting you is fair, reasonable, and in the public interest.
They’ll consider whether:
ending your tenancy is in the interests of good farming practice
ending your tenancy is in the interests of the estate
evicting you would cause less financial hardship to your landlord
your landlord wants to use the land for research, experimentation or education
your landlord wants to use the land for something other than agriculture, but planning permission has not been granted yet
Get legal help to stop the eviction or claim compensation
Contact a solicitor who specialises in agricultural law if you want to challenge an eviction. A solicitor can negotiate with your landlord and represent you in court.
If you’re evicted, you could get compensation. A solicitor can help you work out how much you’re entitled to.
You can also contact the:
Scottish Land Commission for free guidance for tenant farmers
National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) who have a free legal helpline for members
Scottish Tenant Farmers Association who offer members help from chartered surveyors, valuers, solicitors and accountants
Finding somewhere else to live
Start looking for a new home as soon as you can if you’re being evicted.
If you cannot find another agricultural tenancy, you can try:
You can also contact the council and tell them you're being evicted. They have a duty to help if you're at risk of homelessness.
Check our advice on making a homeless application.
If you're not a British or Irish citizen, your rights to homeless help could be different. Check our advice on how your immigration status affects your housing options.
Last updated: 3 October 2023