Eviction from 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.
Advice for tenant farmers
Scottish Land Commission includes free access to guidance documents on a wide range of issues affecting tenant farmers in Scotland
If you're a member of the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) you can call their free legal helpline for advice
If you're a member of the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association, you can access a professional panel of chartered surveyors, valuers, solicitors and accountants
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.
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.
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:
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