Guide

Ending a tenancy as a landlord
Last updated: 5 June 2020

Overview

If you're renting out a property, you may want your tenant to leave the let property. This may be because:

  • you want to live in the property
  • the tenant has broken a term of the tenancy
  • the tenant is not paying the rent
  • the tenant has abandoned the property

When you want to end a tenancy, you must do it legally. Your tenants are protected by the law against harassment and unlawful eviction, so if you (or a letting agent acting on your behalf) do not follow the correct steps they may take court action.

The process for ending a tenancy, and the reasons you are allowed to bring a tenancy to an end, can be different depending on what type of tenancy your tenant has. It is important that you use the correct procedure when you end a tenancy – if you do not do this, you may be breaking the law.

If your tenant moved in before 1 December 2017, they will probably have a short assured or assured tenancy. If your tenant moved in on or after 1 December 2017, they will have a private residential tenancy.

Once you've got an eviction order from the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) ('the Tribunal' for short), if the tenant remains in the property past the eviction date they must be removed by Sheriff Officers. You, your employees or a letting agent must not attempt to remove the tenant.

Changes due to coronavirus

During coronavirus you cannot evict tenants in Scotland for up to 6 months in most cases. Read the full coronavirus guidance for private landlords and letting agents on gov.scot.

The Scottish Government has passed an emergency law to protect renters in Scotland during coronavirus.

This law temporarily extends the amount of notice landlords must give when ending a tenancy. In most cases landlords will now need to give tenants 6 months' notice, unless they are ending the tenancy for certain reasons. This includes antisocial and criminal behaviour and where the landlord or their family need to move into the property.

The new law also temporarily makes all grounds for eviction in the private rented sector discretionary. This means that even if the Tribunal agrees that the ground exists, it still has to decide whether it is reasonable to issue an eviction order.

This change ensures that the Tribunal will be able to use discretion and take into account all factors relating to the impact of coronavirus on both the landlord and tenant, before deciding whether to issue an eviction order or not.

The new law applies if you are serving notice on your tenant on or after 7 April 2020. If you serve notice on your tenant before 7 April 2020, the changes in the new law do not apply.