Eviction when your lease ends
If you have a limited duration tenancy (LDT), your landlord can only evict you at the end of your lease by following the correct eviction procedure, and you may not have to leave. If you have a short limited duration tenancy (SLDT), you will have fewer rights, and will probably have to go if your landlord wants to evict you.
Ending a limited duration tenancy
If your landlord wishes to end your tenancy when your lease expires, they must send you a 'written intimation'. This is a notice stating their intention to end the tenancy. They must send you the intimation no less than two years and no more than three years before the lease expires.
Next they must send you a notice to quit no less than one year and not more than two years before the lease ends. At least 90 days must separate the two notices. The landlord must send you both a written intimation and a notice to quit. If they don't send you an intimation, the notice to quit won't be valid.
Ending a short limited duration tenancy
Your landlord has the right to end your tenancy once the lease is up. There is no 'notice to quit' system for short limited duration tenancies, however, under common law, your landlord should give you at least four weeks' notice, or 40 days' notice if your lease lasts longer than four months. If your land is larger than two acres, you should get at least six months' notice.
If your landlord doesn't ask you to leave and you continue living or working on the land and paying rent, you won't have to leave when the lease ends. If your lease lasted for less than five years and you stay on after the date expires, your tenancy will by default last for five years, unless you and your landlord agree to a shorter duration. If your tenancy goes on for longer than five years, it will become a limited duration tenancy. If your landlord wants to evict you, they will then have to follow the procedure for limited duration tenants, as outlined below.
My landlord hasn't sent me a valid notice to quit
If your landlord doesn't send you a valid notice to quit, your tenancy will carry on in a 'cycle of continuations'. A continuation is like an extension to your lease. Your landlord cannot end your lease before the continuation finishes except in certain circumstances, and must follow the correct procedure.
First short continuation
The first short continuation lasts for three years. If your landlord wants you to leave at the end of the first short continuation, they must send you an intimation and notice to quit, as outlined above. They must send you the intimation within the first year of the continuation in order for it to be valid.
Second short continuation
The second short continuation also lasts for three years. During this time, your landlord can send you a notice to quit at any time - there is no need for them to send you an intimation. This notice should be in writing and must state that you have to leave the tenancy when the lease expires. This will either be at the end of the second short continuation or two years from the date the notice is sent, whichever is later.
The long continuation lasts for 15 years. To evict you at the end of the long continuation, your landlord must send you an intimation and valid notice to quit as outlined above. If they do not, at the end of the 15 years, your tenancy will move onto another first short continuation of three years.
Further support and advice
If you are a tenant farmer Shelter Scotland can provide you with general advice on your housing rights. However, with an agricultural tenancy your home is (usually) also your business. Because of this, if there is a dispute between you and your landlord then usually you will need to seek assistance from a solicitor.
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