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Succession is the transfer of the tenant's right in a property to another person when the tenant dies. The section looks at the rules for each type of tenancy as well as the common law position and the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964.

Statutory succession

In general, the right to succeed to a tenancy is covered by the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964. However, the right to succeed to most residential tenancies is regulated by housing legislation. 

Regulated tenancies

The Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 sets out those entitled to succeed to a regulated tenancy. 

Private residential tenancies

The rights to succeed a private residential tenancy are set out in statute. These rights are similar to those relating to Scottish secure tenancies. However, in all cases the tenancy can only be succeeded once. 

Assured tenancies

The Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 introduced assured tenancies and limited succession rights. 

Short assured tenancies

The right to succeed to a short assured tenancy is much the same as the right to succeed to an assured tenancy. 

Succession Scottish secure tenancies

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 provides the statutory framework for succession to a Scottish secure tenancy. 

Short Scottish secure tenancies

There is no provision for succession in the arrangements for the short Scottish secure tenancy (short SST). 

Succession and the common law

At common law a tenant has both an implied right to assign unfurnished property and a right to leave the tenancy of that property to another person. 

Liability for arrears

Liability for a deceased tenant's arrears passes to the deceased tenant's estate. If there is insufficient money in the estate to cover the arrears they cannot be recovered. 

Succession and court orders

If a tenancy has already been ended by court order then no-one will be entitled to succeed to the tenancy as in effect there is no tenancy. 

Succession (Scotland) Act 1964

The Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 allows tenants to leave the remaining term of the lease to someone in their will, unless there is an express term in the lease that forbids an assignation or such a bequest. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 29 December 2014