If you're being evicted – private tenant
Last updated: 7 April 2020

Tenants with a private residential tenancy

If you have a private residential tenancy, your landlord can only evict you if one of the 18 grounds for eviction applies.

In order for your landlord to bring the tenancy to an end legally, they must give you a Notice to Leave. This is a specific document which tells you which of the eviction grounds applies (the reason why your landlord is asking you to leave), and how long you have before you must move out of the property.

Your landlord may also attach supporting evidence which proves the reason they're asking you to leave is real.

Your landlord must give you the Notice to Leave by either:

  • handing it to you
  • sending it to you by recorded delivery post at the address of the Let Property
  • emailing it to you at your current email address (if you have previously agreed that email is your preferred contact method)

If your landlord sends the Notice by recorded delivery post, or by email, the law says they must add an extra two days to allow for delivery.

How much notice your landlord needs to give you will depend on:

  • how long you have lived in the let property
  • why your landlord is asking you to leave
Due to coronavirus, there have been some changes to notice periods for private rented tenants and changes to how the Tribunal will consider eviction grounds. Find more information here if your landlord served notice on you on or after 7 April 2020.

If you have lived in the property for 6 months or less, your landlord must give you 28 days' notice. They must also give you 28 days' notice if you've lived there for longer than 6 months but are being asked to leave for one or more of the 6 reasons below (and only for these reasons):

  • you're no longer occupying the let property
  • you've breached a term of the tenancy agreement
  • you're in rent arrears over 3 consecutive months on the date the landlord applies to the Tribunal for an eviction order
  • you have a relevant criminal conviction
  • you've engaged in relevant anti-social behaviour
  • you associate with a person who has a relevant conviction or has engaged in relevant anti-social behaviour

If you've lived in the property for more than 6 months, and your landlord is evicting you for any of the other 12 reasons set out in the law, they must give you 84 days' notice.

The other 12 reasons are:

  • the landlord intends to sell the let property
  • the let property is to be sold by the mortgage lender
  • the landlord intends to refurbish the let property
  • the landlord intends to live in the let property
  • the landlord's family member intends to live in the let property
  • the landlord intends to use the let property for a non-residential purpose
  • the let property is required for a religious purpose
  • the tenant ceases to be – or fails to become – the landlord's employee
  • the tenant no longer needs supported accommodation
  • the landlord has had their registration refused or revoked
  • the landlord's HMO licence has been revoked
  • an Overcrowding Statutory Notice has been served on the landlord

If your landlord gives you a Notice to Leave and you do not move out as soon as the notice period ends, your landlord can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) ('the Tribunal' for short) for an eviction order. They can only do this within 6 months from the date in the notice they gave you.

The Tribunal will consider your landlord's case and decide whether the eviction ground exists. The grounds are split into two categories – mandatory grounds and discretionary grounds.

If your landlord is relying on a 'mandatory' eviction ground and the Tribunal is satisfied that the ground exists, they must evict you.

If your landlord is relying on a 'discretionary' eviction ground, even if the Tribunal is satisfied that the ground exists it will consider whether it's reasonable to evict you.

During coronavirus, the First-tier Tribunal has issued an announcement that hearings and case management discussions have been postponed for the time being. You should check the First-tier Tribunal website for updates on the current situation.

If you've left the property and think you were misled into leaving, you can apply to the Tribunal for a 'wrongful termination order'. The Tribunal may make a wrongful termination order if it decides that your landlord:

  • misled the Tribunal into giving an eviction order it should not have
  • misled you into leaving the property

An example of a possible wrongful termination would be where the landlord serves notice to leave on you on the ground that they want to sell the property, but then does not sell it and lets it out to another tenant instead.

If a wrongful termination order is issued, your landlord will be told to pay you a payment of no more than 6 months' rent.