Eviction from limited duration and short limited duration tenancies

Limited duration and short limited duration tenancies are agricultural tenancies. They must have begun after 2003. Check your written lease agreement if you aren’t sure what tenancy you have.

Your landlord can only evict you in certain circumstances. These will be different when they are evicting you:

  • before the end of your lease or

  • at the end of your lease

Eviction before the end of your lease

The end date of your tenancy should be in your written lease agreement. Your landlord can only end your tenancy before this date if any of the following apply:

  • you both agree in writing to end the tenancy

  • you become bankrupt

  • you break a condition of your lease

  • your landlord wants to take the land back for non-agricultural purposes

Breaking a condition of your lease

Your landlord can only use this to evict you when it is written in your lease. It must say that they can evict you for breaking a condition of your lease. This is sometimes called an irritancy clause.

If there is no irritancy clause then you can challenge the eviction in court.

You must be given two months’ notice if your landlord uses this as a reason for ending your tenancy.

Taking the land back for non-agricultural purposes

This is also called resumption. Your landlord can take back all or a portion of the land that you lease.

Your landlord can only do this when all of the following apply:

  • your lease states they can take back the land

  • your lease does not prohibit them taking the land back for the new purpose

  • planning permission for the new purpose has been granted

To resume the land your landlord must give you a written notice to quit. This must give you one years notice.

You may be entitled to compensation for resumption.

Refusing to farm a smaller amount of land

If you don’t agree to farm the remaining land and want to leave you can submit a counter notice. This will terminate the whole tenancy.

You must do this within 28 days of receiving the written notice to quit from your landlord. The tenancy will then end on the date in your notice to quit.

Challenging an eviction

Any dispute over eviction or tenancy ending can be referred to the Land Court.

Speak to a solicitor who specialises in agricultural law if you want to challenge an eviction or take a dispute to court.

They may be able to stop the eviction or defend you in court. They can also help you enforce your rights if you don’t have a written lease or an end date written in the lease.

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

There are different rights for:

  • limited duration tenants

  • short limited duration tenants

Eviction from a limited duration tenancy

Your landlord must give you both of the following:

  • a written imitation - this must give between 2-3 years notice. It will state that they want to end your tenancy when your lease ends

  • a notice to quit - this must give between 1-2 years notice. It must be sent to you at least 90 days after you received the written intimation

If you do not get a written intimation the notice to quit will not be valid. The landlord cannot evict you without a valid notice to quit.

No valid notice to quit

If your tenancy:

  • reaches the end date and

  • you don’t get a valid notice to quit

your tenancy will continue for three years.

Unless you break a term of your lease the landlord can only end the tenancy at the end of the new three year term.

Eviction from a short limited duration tenancy

The landlord can end your tenancy when the lease ends. They do not have to send you a written intimation or notice to quit.

If they do not ask you to leave then your tenancy will continue for:

  • 5 years if your lease was less than 5 years

  • 15 years if your lease was for 5 years

Challenging an eviction

Any dispute over eviction or tenancy ending can be referred to the Land Court.

Speak to a solicitor if you want to challenge an eviction or take a dispute to court. Find a solicitor by searching on the Law Society of Scotland website.

Advice for tenant farmers

  • Scottish Land Commission includes free access to guidance documents on a wide range of issues affecting tenant farmers in Scotland

Last updated: 17 October 2021

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