A Guide to Renting Privately in Scotland

Moving out and evictions

What procedures have to be followed at the end of the tenancy.


Moving out of your property

If you want to leave the property, you should give your landlord notice. If you are a private residential tenancy tenant, then this is normally 28 days’ notice.

If you are a short assured or an assured tenant, then your tenancy agreement should say if you can end your tenancy before the fixed term is up, and how much notice you need to give in this case. If your tenancy agreement doesn't mention this, you may find your landlord can still charge you rent until the fixed term is over.

Walking away from a tenancy without giving notice may make it harder for you to rent a new property in the future.


Joint tenants

If you are a joint tenant and you want to end the tenancy, you will need to get agreement from the other joint tenants. Your landlord should make sure that everyone has given their permission before agreeing to end the tenancy.

You may be able to arrange a new tenancy agreement with your landlord, whereby:

  • another person takes on the tenancy of the person who wants to leave, or

  • you and any other joint tenants stay on and pay the extra rent yourselves.


Eviction

Changes to notice periods due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The Scottish Government brought in rules to extend the notice period needed before an action for eviction can be started.

This is different from the temporary ban on evictions.

The length of notice you are entitled to depends 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 court or tribunal for a date to hear your case.

These new rules will be in place until 31 March 2022. They apply where the notice was served on or after 7 April 2020.

Any cases raised before 7 April 2020 are assessed by the original rules.

Check out our Covid-19 page for more information.

Your landlord can not just turn up to your door one day and ask you to leave, they have to follow the correct legal procedure.


Private residential tenancies

Your landlord will need to give you either 28 or 84 day’s notice that they intend to apply for an eviction notice. The period of notice will depend on how long you have been in the property and which ground they are applying for eviction. The form a landlord needs to use is called a ‘notice to leave’.

If you are still in the property after the notice period is over, then the landlord will have to apply to the Housing and Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal for an eviction order. You may be able to defend the eviction.

Find out more about private residential tenancy evictions.


Short assured tenancies

Short assured tenancies are normally given for a fixed length of time of 6 or 12 months. Once the fixed period is finished, the tenancy will then renew itself for another fixed period or it will continue on a month to month basis. If your landlord wants you to leave at the end, you can be evicted quite easily but there are steps your landlord must follow.

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, known as a section 33 notice.

If your landlord does this and you do not leave:

  • your landlord will have to tell the First Tier Tribunal that they want to evict you

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

  • your case will go to the tribunal, if the landlord has served you with notices correctly that the tribunal must make an order for eviction

  • if the eviction is granted sheriff officers will be sent round to remove you from the property.

Find out more about short assured tenancy evictions.


Assured tenancies

If you are an assured tenant then your landlord will need to state a reason as why they want to evict you and follow the steps below:.

  • Serve you a notice to quit.

  • Serve you a notice of proceedings (also called an AT6 form)

  • You will be sent a notice telling you when your case will be heard in the First Tier Tribunal.

  • Depending on the grounds used you may be able to defend the action.

  • Your case will be heard at the tribunal.

  • If the tribunal grants an order, sheriff officers will be sent round to remove you from your property.

If the correct procedure is not followed then you landlord won't be able to evict you.

Find out more about assured tenancy evictions.


Resident landlords

If you live in the same property as your landlord and you have a written tenancy agreement, it should tell you what your landlord can ask you to leave. This should include the amount of notice they have to give you (minimum 4 weeks if not included).


Illegal eviction

If your landlord is attempting to force you out of your home without following the correct procedure then they will be committing a criminal offence by illegally evicting you.

Your landlord should not:

  • change the locks

  • stop you from getting into your home

  • make life so uncomfortable for you that you are forced to leave your home, for example by cutting off your water, gas or electricity supplies or by constantly turning up at your home

  • have you physically removed from the property by a person who is not a sheriff officer

  • lie to the First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber in order to get an order to evict you. This applies to all kinds of tenant, no matter what kind of tenancy or occupancy agreement you have

If you think your landlord is trying to illegally evict you, then you should call the police on 101.

Find out more about illegal evictions.

Last updated: 22 March 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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