Grounds for eviction if you have an assured or short assured tenancy

If you’re in an assured tenancy or short assured tenancy, your landlord must provide a reason or 'ground' if they want to evict you. The amount of notice you receive depends on the grounds for eviction being used.

Longer notice periods ended on 30 March 2022

If you got an eviction notice between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 2022 your landlord has to stick to any longer notice periods that applied then.

Your landlord cannot shorten the notice period by sending you a new eviction notice after 30 March.

If this happens contact Shelter Scotland.

How do I know which grounds are being used?

If your landlord is trying to evict you, you should have received a 'notice of proceedings'. The grounds for eviction being used will be included in the notice.

For more about notices of proceeding, see the eviction process for assured tenants and the eviction process for short assured tenants.

If you have received a summons (a letter notifying you of a date), this will also include the grounds being used.

Can more than one ground for eviction be used?

Your landlord can state just one ground for eviction on the notice of proceedings or they can use a combination of grounds. For example, grounds 8, 11 and 12 all relate to rent arrears. 

How different grounds affect the eviction process

Your landlord must be able to explain why each ground stated applies to you. The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (a body that makes legal decisions in the private housing sector) will use the grounds to help make a decision about whether or not you should be evicted.

Grounds 1–8 are called mandatory grounds.

If your landlord has stated any of grounds 1–8 on your notice of proceedings or and can prove that they apply to you, then usually the tribunal has to grant an order for your eviction.

Grounds 9–17 are called discretionary grounds.

If your landlord has stated any of grounds 9–17 on your notice of proceedings the tribunal have to consider whether it is 'reasonable' to evict you. This means they need to consider all of the circumstances about your case.

All eviction grounds are 'discretionary'

The tribunal will have to decide whether it is reasonable for you to be evicted even where the grounds have been proved.

This rule remains in force until at least 30 September 2022.

Grounds for eviction

1. Landlord wants property to be own home or the property was previously their own home

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20223 months
On or after 30 March 20222 months

This ground can be used if:

  • your landlord wants you to move out so that they or their husband/wife or civil partner can move in and live in the property, or

  • before you moved in, your landlord lived in the property

The landlord can't use this ground to get the property back in order to sell it. They would have to move back in first.

Before you moved into the property, you should have been told in writing that this situation might arise.

2. Mortgage default

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 months

This ground will be used if your landlord has not kept up to date with their mortgage payments and the mortgage lender now wants to sell the property to cover your landlord's debts.

Before you moved into the property, you should have been told in writing that this situation might arise.

3. Off-season holiday let

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

If you are living somewhere that is normally rented out as a holiday home, the landlord can use this ground, provided that:

  • the property was let as a holiday home in the year before you moved in, and

  • you had lived in the property for no more than eight months before you were served with the notice of proceedings

Before you moved into the property you should have been told in writing that this situation might arise.

4. Vacation let of student accommodation

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

If you are living in a property that is let to students by a university or college during term time, the landlord may use this ground provided that:

  • the property was rented out to students in the year before you moved in, and

  • you had lived in the property for no more than a year before you were served with a notice of proceedings

Before you moved into the property, you should have been told in writing that this situation might arise.

5. Minister/lay missionary property

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 months

Your landlord can use this ground if a minister or lay missionary is going to move into the property to live while they are working in the area.

Before you moved into the property, you should have been told in writing that this situation might arise.

6. Re-development

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 months

This ground can be used if your landlord wants to do major work to the property and the work cannot be done while you are living there, or you have said that you do not want to live there while the work is being done.

You should be entitled to reasonable moving expenses if you have to move because work is to be carried out.

7. Tenancy inherited under a will or intestacy

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 months

If the tenant who lived in your home before you died and left you the tenancy in their will, your landlord can use this ground to get you to leave, unless the tenant was your husband, wife or civil partner and had not inherited the tenancy themself.

The landlord must serve you with a notice of proceedings within a year of the person dying or within a year of the landlord finding out that the person has died.

8. Three months' rent arrears

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

If your landlord can prove that you have three months' rent arrears, the tribunal automatically has to grant an order for your eviction. If your case goes to the tribunal there must still be at least three months' rent arrears outstanding.

If your landlord is using this ground, it's a good idea to try and reduce your rent arrears to less than three months' worth before your case goes to the tribunal. If you have less than three months' arrears, the tribunal doesn't have to evict you.

Eviction is also not automatic if the rent arrears have been caused by a delay in payment of housing benefit.

You must be able to show that you have done everything to make sure that housing benefit should have been paid, for example, handing in your claim form and providing any information that was requested. You should also be confident that you will be entitled to the housing benefit.

During the coronavirus outbreak where notice was served on or after 7 April 2020, this ground is temporarily made a 'discretionary' ground. This means that even if you owe three months' arrears the tribunal have to consider whether it is 'reasonable' to evict you.

Pre-action requirements for rent arrears

If you have built up some or all of your rent arrears after 7 April 2020 your landlord is required to try to help you before evicting you. They must do so by following certain steps called pre-action requirements.

Before starting eviction action your landlord must give you clear information about:

  • the terms of your tenancy agreement

  • the amount of rent you owe

  • your rights in the eviction action (including information about the pre-action requirements)

  • how you can access information and advice on financial support and debt management

Your landlord must also make ‘reasonable efforts’ to agree a repayment plan and consider:

  • any steps you have taken which might affect your ability to repay the arrears within a reasonable period of time

  • the extent to which you have complied with any repayment agreement

  • any changes your circumstances which are likely to impact on you affording your repayment agreement

Tell the tribunal if your landlord applies to evict you due to rent arrears and you think they have missed any of these steps. The tribunal has to take this into consideration when deciding whether to grant an eviction order.

The pre-action requirements only need to be followed where tribunal action for eviction is possible after 6 October 2020.

If your landlord is evicting you and you need help with this speak with an adviser or contact a solicitor.

Practical steps you can take

If you are in rent arrears it’s really important to try and resolve the situation if you can.

  • speak to your landlord

  • get advice on any benefits you might be entitled to

  • keep copies of any letters/emails between you and your landlord

  • if notice has been served keep a copy of this note any key dates

  • be careful about agreeing to make repayments unless you are sure you can keep to them. If you’re not sure, speak to someone about getting Money Advice first

  • keep any evidence of steps you’ve taken to tackle the arrears, for example, note dates of when you have spoken to your landlord or if you asked for help from money advice services

  • make a note of any benefits you’ve applied for including the date you made the claim

  • think about whether there have been any changes of circumstances, these could be changes in employment or health of yourself or other household members

9. Suitable alternative accommodation available to tenant

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Any date2 months

The notice period for this ground was not changed by the coronavirus laws.

This ground can be used if your landlord can provide you with alternative accommodation. The accommodation must be suitable for you and your family and you must have the same or similar rights that you have in your current property.

10. Tenant served notice to quit but did not leave

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

If you told your landlord in writing that you wanted to leave the property but then did not leave the property, this ground can be used.

The landlord must have served you with a notice of proceedings within six months of the date that you said you were going to leave.

11. Persistent delay in paying rent

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

This ground can be used if you keep paying your rent late. It is less likely that the tribunal will evict you if there are no rent arrears, but you may still be evicted.

If it is the housing benefit department's fault that the rent has been paid late then the tribunal must take this into account.

New 'pre-action requirements' for private sector rent arrears

Your landlord must also comply with the 'pre-action requirements'. These are steps a landlord must take before they raise eviction action for rent arrears.

These apply where:

  • some or all of the arrears accrued after 7 April 2020, and

  • the landlord applies to the tribunal on or after 6 October 2020

See full details about the current pre-action requirements in the Ground 8 rent arrears section.

12. Some rent unpaid

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

This ground can be used if you were behind with your rent on the day that you were issued with the notice of proceedings.

There must still be some rent arrears on the day that the case is heard at the tribunal.

The tribunal must take into account whether the rent that is unpaid should have been paid by housing benefit.

Pre-action requirements for private sector rent arrears

Your landlord must also comply with the 'pre-action requirements'. These are steps a landlord must take before they raise eviction action for rent arrears.

These apply where:

  • some or all of the arrears accrued after 7 April 2020, and

  • the landlord applies to the tribunal on or after 6 October 2020

See full details about the current pre-action requirements in the Ground 8 rent arrears section.

13. Breach of tenancy condition

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

If you have broken a rule laid down in your tenancy agreement, this ground can be used. It cannot be used in relation to rent arrears.

14. Deterioration of the house or common parts

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

If you, or someone living with you, has damaged part of the property or the area surrounding the property, this ground can be used. It can also be used if something damaged in the property got worse because you did not report it. For example, if a window was leaking and the windowsill rotted.

15. Nuisance or annoyance

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 2 October 20203 months
Between 3 October 2020 and 29 March 202228 days
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

This ground can be used if you or someone living with you has been:

  • causing a nuisance or annoying your neighbours, or

  • convicted of using the property for illegal purposes or letting it be used for illegal purposes, for example for dealing drugs

16. Deterioration of condition of furniture

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 weeks

This ground can be used if you, or someone living with you, has damaged the furniture in the property or you have not looked after it properly.

17. Ex-employees of the landlord

Notice periods:

When you got your eviction noticeHow much notice you should get
Between 7 April 2020 and 29 March 20226 months
On or after 30 March 20222 months

If you used to be employed by your landlord and you were allowed to stay in the property as part of your job, your landlord may use this ground once your employment has ended.

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help. Get Help

Last updated: 29 March 2022

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