Eviction before the end of your lease
Both limited duration tenancies (LDT) or short limited duration tenancies (SLDT)'s written leases should say how long your tenancy lasts and when your lease expires. Your landlord can only evict you before this date in special circumstances, which are outlined below.
Can my landlord evict me from my limited or short limited duration tenancy?
If you have a limited duration tenancy (LDT) or short limited duration tenancy (SLDT), your landlord can only end your tenancy before the date your lease expires if:
you both agree to end the tenancy on a certain date, or
you break a condition of your lease, or
you become bankrupt, or
your landlord needs to take the land back for non-agricultural purposes.
Agreeing to end your LDT or SLDT tenancy
You and your landlord can end the tenancy by mutual agreement at any time before the lease expires. If you have an Limited Duration Tenancy, this agreement must be in writing. If you have an Short Limited Duration Tenancy, there's no legal requirement for the agreement to be in writing, but it's always best to put your notice in writing anyway.
Eviction for breaking a condition of your lease
Your landlord may be able to evict you if you break a condition of your lease, for example if you don't pay your rent or you deliberately damage the land in some way. However, they can only do this if your written lease specifically states that breaking this condition gives your landlord the right to evict you. (This is known as an 'irritancy clause'.) Even if there is an irritancy clause in your lease, your landlord may not be able to evict you.
Your landlord must give you two months' notice to leave. Talk to a solicitor if you are in this situation - they may be able to help you prevent or delay the eviction.
Bear in mind that your landlord can't insist that you live on the land and can't use non-residency as a reason to evict you. However, your lease may require that someone with the experience and skills to run the farm lives on the land. This doesn't necessarily have to be you but you'll have to make sure that this condition is met.
Eviction if your landlord wants the land back for non-agricultural purposes
Your landlord has a right to get the land or part of the land back if they need it for non-agricultural purposes (for example, for building homes). This is known as 'resumption'.
Your landlord only has a right to do this if:
they require planning permission for their new project and this has been granted
the lease doesn't prohibit resumption of the land for that purpose
they give you at least one year's notice in writing.
What if my landlord only wants part of the land back?
Your landlord may only need part of the land back. If you don't want to farm the reduced holding, you can give notice on the whole tenancy yourself. You must do this within 28 days of receiving the notice to quit. This means that when you leave, you can get compensation for the tenancy of the whole farm, provided that:
the land the landlord wants back makes up more than a quarter of the value or area of the holding as a whole, or
the rest of the holding cannot reasonably be farmed on its own.
If this isn't the case, you'll only get compensation for the part the landlord originally wanted to evict you from.
If you continue to stay on the remaining land, your rent must be reduced accordingly.
Resources for tenant farmers
The following organisations may be able to provide you with further advice or support:
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.
Last updated: 23 February 2021