Eviction at the end of your fixed term

If you have a short assured tenancy, your landlord can evict you when your tenancy comes to an end without giving you any reason. They cannot just kick you out.

This page explains what the landlord must do before you can be evicted.

How long do short assured tenancies last?

Short assured tenancies are always given for a fixed period of time. The first fixed period must last at least six months.

Once the first fixed period is finished, your tenancy can renew itself for another fixed period. Check your tenancy agreement, it could say that it will continue on a month to month basis for example.

About the eviction process

If your landlord wants you to leave when your fixed period comes to an end they must:

  • give you a notice to quit, and

  • give you at least two months' notice in writing that they want the property back

  • tell the tribunal that they want to evict you

Then:

  • you will be sent a letter telling you when your case will be heard at tribunal

  • your case will go to the tribunal

  • if the tribunal agrees that it is reasonable to evict you, they will grant an order

  • if you haven't left, sheriff officers will be sent to remove you from the property

What is a notice to quit?

A notice to quit is a written document telling you that your tenancy is going to come to an end. The minimum notice period is normally 40 days.

For a notice to quit to be valid it must:

  • be in writing

  • state the length of notice you have been given

  • state that once the notice has run out, the landlord still has to get an order from the tribunal before you have to leave

  • include information about where you can get advice

Section 33 notice

Your landlord cannot evict you without a section 33 notice. This is in addition to the notice to quit.

Landlords can combine a notice to quit and a section 33 notice as long as it:

  • gives you the right amount of notice

  • states that the landlord requires possession of the property

  • states that once the notice has run out, the landlord still has to get an order from the tribunal before you have to leave

  • includes information about where you can get advice

Do I have to leave?

You do not have to leave just because the notice has ended. The landlord has to ask the tribunal to grant an order to evict you.

If your landlord also issues a section 33 notice this normally needs to give you at least 2 months' warning that they want the property back.

If both the notice to quit and section 33 notice are validly served the tribunal might grant an eviction order. The tribunal must consider all of your circumstances when deciding whether to grant the eviction.

If you do not want the tribunal to grant the eviction then you will need to let them know by either:

  • appearing at the tribunal on the hearing date

  • arranging for someone to appear on your behalf

You can ask the tribunal to consider things like:

  • how difficult it might be for you to find another tenancy

  • health problems or other difficulties you might have

  • delaying the eviction date to allow you time to find somewhere else to live

If you do not attend or arrange someone to represent you then the tribunal is likely to find in your landlord's favour and grant the eviction.

You can contact a solicitor or speak to a Shelter adviser if you want help with this.

What should I do if I get a notice to quit and a section 33 notice?

Get the notice to quit checked

An adviser at Shelter Scotland or Citizens Advice will be able to tell you if the notice to quit you have been given is valid. If it is not, you will not have to leave until the landlord serves valid notices.

Look for other accommodation

If you have been given a valid notice to quit and section 33 notice, you should start looking for other accommodation.

You will have to pay rent on your old property until your notice to quit runs out. Try to find somewhere you can move into near that date. You will have to pay rent for two homes if there is an overlap.

If you currently receive benefits you should check if both rents can be covered. If you receive housing benefit and you cannot avoid having to pay rent for both homes, you may be able to get housing benefit for two homes for up to four weeks.

Make a homeless application to the council

If you cannot find anywhere else to live, you can ask the council for help. The council has a duty to help people who are homeless. If you make a homeless application, the council should:

  • find you somewhere to stay temporarily

  • offer you advice and assistance on housing options

  • offer you a permanent home, depending on your circumstances

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 29 March 2022

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