Eviction of private residential tenancy tenants
If you have a private residential tenancy, you can only be evicted if your landlord follows the correct procedure.
COVID-19: Changes to notice needed
The Scottish Government brought in new rules on 7 April 2020 to extend the length of the notice period before legal action to obtain an order for eviction can be started.
This is not a ban on evictions. It means that in most cases there is a longer period of time between the landlord starting the process and the date that they can begin legal action to evict you.
In addition to the extension of the notice period need, all grounds are now discretionary. This means the tribunal must consider the reasonableness of the request of an eviction order.
These changes apply until 31 March 2022. The sections below give more information about the changes.
Scotland has moved beyond level 0.
This means evictions can now be enforced across the country.
Contact an adviser at Shelter Scotland if you are concerned that you will be evicted.
Ending a private residential tenancy
A private residential tenancy can only be ended by one of three ways:
by a tenant giving notice and leaving or,
the tenant and landlord reach an agreement to end the tenancy, or
your landlord wants possession of the property and obtains an eviction order from the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber
To start the eviction process, your landlord must give you written notice called a notice to leave. This notice must state:
the day on which your landlord will be entitled to apply to the First-tier Tribunal for an eviction order, and
which ground is being used
If you agree to leave the property, the tenancy will come to an end at the end of the notice period.
What is a notice to leave?
A notice to leave is written document that you landlord must provide you with if they wish to remove you from the property.
The notice to leave will tell you the reason why the landlord wants to evict you. These reasons are known as 'grounds'. There are 18 grounds for eviction that your landlord can use and the notice to leave must state which grounds the landlord is using. This is important as the ground they use can impact your notice period.
Your landlord must take steps to ensure that you receive the notice to leave as soon as possible. The notice period starts from the day you receive the notice; this is assumed to be 48 hours after the landlord has sent it. Your landlord will not be able to make an application to the tribunal until the day after the notice period expires.
How much notice do I get?
If the notice to leave was served on or after 7 April 2020
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Scottish Government brought in new rules. These extend the notice period required before court or tribunal action for eviction can be started.
The length of notice you are entitled to will depend on when the notice was served and the grounds being used. Your landlord must wait until your notice has run out before they can ask the tribunal for a date to hear your case.
This is not a ban on evictions. It does mean in most cases there will be a longer period of time between notice being served and the date the landlord can apply to the tribunal.
For example, if your landlord is evicting you for rent arrears they must now give you at least six months’ notice before they can apply to the tribunal. For other grounds, the notice periods may be shorter.
If the notice to leave was served before 7 April 2020
If your landlord wants to end the tenancy there are different periods of notice depending on how long you have been living at the property and what ground is being used:
if you have lived in the property for less than six months, then the notice period is 28 days, regardless of the ground used
if you have lived in the property for longer than six months and the landlord is not using a conduct ground, then the notice period is 84 days
if you have lived in the property for more than six months, and the landlord is using one of the six conduct grounds (see below) the notice period is 28 days
The six conduct grounds are:
ground 10 - not occupying let property
ground 11 - breach of tenancy agreement
ground 12 - rent arrears
ground 13 - criminal behaviour
ground 14 - antisocial behaviour
ground 15 - association with a person who has relevant conviction or engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
If you have not moved out by the expiry of the notice period, the landlord will have to apply to the First-tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber for an eviction order. It is up to the tribunal to decide whether to grant the eviction. You may be able to defend the action.
An application to the First-tier Tribunal for an eviction order must include a copy of the:
notice to leave given to the tenant, and
section 11 notice - this is a notice which your landlord must send to the local council notifying them of a possible eviction
The notice to leave is valid for six months, if no application for an eviction order is made, then a new notice to leave would need to be issued.
Once your landlord applies to the tribunal you will be sent notification of this along with a date of a hearing or case management discussion.
If you want to defend the eviction it is important that you either attend the hearing or arrange a solicitor to represent you. If you do not do this there is a risk the tribunal will automatically grant the eviction.
If you receive any notification from the tribunal and want advice on whether you can defend the action you can speak to an adviser or contact a solicitor.
Wrongful termination of tenancy
If you believe that your landlord used misleading information to evict you, you can apply to the tribunal.
If your landlord:
served you a notice to leave using a false information, or
gave the tribunal false information to get an eviction order against you
then you may be able to get a wrongful termination order granted by the tribunal. You can then be awarded compensation at a maximum of six months rent.
How to apply
To apply to the tribunal, use application form G, using rule 110 - Application for Wrongful Termination. You can find supporting notes to help you fill out the form on the First Tier Tribunal’s website.
You will need to provide evidence to show that the landlord used false information to evict you. You will also need to show the tribunal a valid notice to leave from your landlord.
Notice to leave
You can still be granted a wrongful termination order when:
your landlord gave you written notice to leave with an eviction ground and
you subsequently gave your own notice to end the tenancy early
If you do not have a notice to leave from your landlord, then you may be unable to get a wrongful termination order from the tribunal.
Example of wrongful termination
The landlord served you with a notice to leave, and they ticked the box marked ground 4 - landlord intends to live in the property. This means they were evicting you so that they could move into the property once you moved out.
After you moved out, the landlord then re-let the property to new tenants. They did not move into the property themselves. The landlord misled you into leaving. You could then apply to the tribunal for a wrongful termination order.
Notice period if you want to leave
If you want to end the tenancy, then you will have to give the landlord 28 days notice in writing. The notice has to state the day on which the tenancy is to end, normally the day after notice period has expired.
You can still give notice after you have received a notice to leave. This might end the tenancy sooner, if this is more suitable for you.
You can agree a different notice period, after the start of the tenancy, with your landlord as long it is in writing.
Last updated: 28 September 2021