Eviction when an LDT or SLDT ends

If a tenant has a limited duration tenancy (LDT), her/his landlord can only evict her/him at the end of the lease by following the correct procedure, and s/he may not necessarily have to leave. If a tenant has a short limited duration tenancy (SLDT), s/he will have fewer rights, and will probably have to leave if the landlord wants her/him to.

This content applies to Scotland

Eviction before the lease ends

Before the term of the lease expires, an LDT or SLDT can only be ended if:

  • the landlord and tenant agree to end it, or

  • the tenant breaks a term of the lease, or

  • the landlord needs the land back for non-agricultural purposes.

The page on eviction from an LDT or SLDT before the lease ends explains more.

The landlord can also end the tenancy in these situations after the lease has expired, without needing to go through the processes outlined below. [1]

Ending a short limited duration tenancy

The landlord has the right to end an SLDT once the lease is up. There is no 'notice to quit' system for SLDTs.

If the landlord does not ask the tenant to leave and s/he continues living or working on the land and paying rent, s/he will not have to leave when the lease ends.

If the lease lasted for less than five years and the tenant stays on after the date expires, the tenancy will by default extend to five years, unless the tenant and landlord agree to a shorter duration. [2] If an SLDT ends and a new SLDT is entered into by the same parties for the same land within a year, the terms of the successive tenancies will be added together and an LDT will be created. [3]

If the lease lasts for five years but the landlord takes no steps to remove the tenant when the lease expires and s/he remains on the land, the lease will automatically become a limited duration tenancy, with a term of 15 years starting from the date on which the SLDT lease expired. [4] This will also happen if a succession of SLDTs continues for more than five years. [5] If the landlord wants to end the tenancy, s/he will then have to follow the procedure for limited duration tenants, as outlined below.

Ending a limited duration tenancy

If a landlord wishes to end an LDT when the lease expires, they must send the tenant a 'written intimation'. This is a notice stating their intention to end the tenancy at the expiry date. They must send the intimation no less than two years and no more than three years before the lease expires. [6]

Next, the landlord must send the tenant a written 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 written intimation and the notice to quit. [7] The landlord must send both a written intimation and a notice to quit for the notice to quit to be valid. [8]

Notice to quit is not valid

If the landlord does not send a valid notice to quit, the tenancy will carry on in a 'cycle of continuations'. A continuation is an extension to the lease. Except in certain circumstances, the landlord cannot evict the tenant from the land until the end of the continuation period, and must follow the correct procedure. [9]

First short continuation

The first short continuation lasts for three years. [10] If the landlord wants the tenant to leave at the end of the first short continuation, s/he must send an intimation and notice to quit, as outlined above. [11] This means that s/he must send the intimation within the first year of the continuation in order for the notice to quit to be valid.

Second short continuation

The second short continuation also lasts for three years. [12] During this time, the landlord can send the tenant a notice to quit at any time – there is no need for her/him to send a written intimation. This notice should be in writing and must state that the tenant has to leave the tenancy when the lease expires. [13] If the notice is issued during the first year of the second short continuation, this date will be at the end of the continuation, otherwise it will be two years from the date the notice was sent. [14]

Long continuation

The long continuation lasts for 15 years. [15] To evict a tenant at the end of the long continuation, the landlord must send her/him an intimation and a valid notice to quit as outlined above. [16] If s/he does not, at the end of the 15 years, the tenancy will move on to another first short continuation of three years. [17]

Application to the Land Court

Any disputes over the termination of the tenancy can be referred to the Scottish Land Court[18] In some cases, the landlord and tenant can also agree to refer the matter to arbitration. [19]

Footnotes

  • [1]

    s.17 and s.19 Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [2]

    s.4(3) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [3]

    s.4(5) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [4]

    s.5(2) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [5]

    s.5(3) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [6]

    s.8(5) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [7]

    s.8(4) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [8]

    s.8(5) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [9]

    s.8(6) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [10]

    s.8(6) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [11]

    s.8(7) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [12]

    s.8(6) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [13]

    s.8(9) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [14]

    s.8(10) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [15]

    s.8(6) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [16]

    s.8(11) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [17]

    s.8(6) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [18]

    s.77(2) Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

  • [19]

    s.78 Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003