Eviction if you have a 1991 Act agricultural tenancy

Your landlord can only bring your tenancy to an end under certain circumstances.

This page gives you an overview of your rights.

Organisations that help tenant farmers

Eviction before the end of your lease

Your landlord can only evict you for the following reasons:

  • you have not paid your rent and owe at least six months of rent

  • you have gone bankrupt

  • you have broken a condition of your lease - this is sometimes called an irritancy clause

Speak to a solicitor if your landlord is trying to evict you before your lease ends. They can check your lease to see if your landlord is able to evict you. They may be able to negotiate with your landlord and prevent you from being evicted.

Find a solicitor

You can search for a solicitor near you on the Law Society of Scotland website.

Eviction at the end of your lease

Your landlord can only evict you by sending you a valid notice to quit. This must give you between 1 and 2 years notice. The date they ask you to leave must be the same date as the end of your lease.

If the landlord gives you the wrong notice or the wrong date, then it may not be valid. Your lease will continue until a valid notice is served correctly.

The notice to quit must state the reasons why the landlord is evicting you. These reasons are called grounds.

Eviction grounds

  • you have rent arrears

  • you have broken a term of your lease

  • you have 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 have not been farming the land properly

  • you inherited your tenancy from someone other than your parent or your spouse

If the grounds do not apply to you

If you do not want to leave, send the landlord a counter notice when:

  • you disagree with the grounds used or

  • the landlord does not give any grounds

You must send this to the landlord within one month of receiving the notice to quit. A counter notice should say why you disagree with the landlord’s reasons.

If you do not send a counter notice you will have to leave the tenancy on the date stated by the notice to quit.

If you send a counter notice, then the landlord then has to apply to the Land Court to evict you. The court will then decide if the eviction should be granted. If you are called to court speak to a solicitor. They can represent you or to help you to prepare a defence.

If the court rules in your landlord’s favour, then you will have to leave.

Information the Land Court will consider

The court will decide whether evicting you is:

  • fair

  • reasonable

  • in the public interest

They will 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

These factors are sometimes called Section 24 grounds.

Eviction if you inherited your tenancy

This is a complicated area of law. A solicitor who specialises in agricultural law can help you understand your rights and how to stop an eviction.

Compensation if you are being evicted

When you leave an agricultural tenancy you should receive compensation for any improvements you have made to the land. This applies if you left or if your landlord evicted you. There is more information on the page on compensation for agricultural tenants.

If you have nowhere to go after an eviction

Find somewhere to stay

If you have nowhere to go, the council has to help you with accommodation.

You should be given temporary accommodation the day that you need it.

Apply as homeless

Last updated: 30 September 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England