Ending the tenancy: notice to leave
This section contains information on what to do if either you or the tenant wishes to end the tenancy.
If your tenant wants to end the tenancy
Your tenant has to give you at least 28 days' notice in writing if they want to end the tenancy (unless they ask for shorter notice and you agree in writing).
The notice period will begin on the day you get the notice from your tenant, and ends 28 days after that date.
Your tenant can only give you notice to leave once they have started to live in the let property. Your tenant's notice has to be given 'freely and without coercion'. This means you must not have pressured or persuaded your tenant into leaving.
You and your tenant can agree a different notice period. But this must be in writing and can only be done once the tenant has started to live in the let property. A tenant's agreement to change the notice period must be given 'freely and without coercion'. If you insert a longer notice period into the tenancy agreement before the tenant is living in the let property, the notice period will be invalid and the 28 day notice period will apply.
If your tenant gives you notice but then changes their mind before it ends, they can ask you to continue the tenancy instead. It's up to you to decide whether to agree.
To end a joint tenancy, all the joint tenants must agree to end the tenancy and sign the notice to leave. One joint tenant cannot terminate a joint tenancy on behalf of all the joint tenants.
If you want to end the tenancy
You can only end the tenancy by using one of the 18 grounds for eviction. If you decide you want to end the tenancy, you must serve your tenant a notice to leave document, which will tell them how long they have to move out. You can use the Scottish Government’s ‘Create a Notice to Leave’ tool to create a Notice to Leave which you can download and give to your tenant.
When you give your tenant notice to leave, you must tell them what eviction ground you are using. You can also provide any evidence you have to support the ground.
To end a joint tenancy, you must serve notice to leave on all of the joint tenants.
The amount of notice you have to give your tenant will depend on how long they've lived in the property and the grounds you're using to evict them.
You must give 28 days' notice if they have lived in the property for six months or less, regardless of what eviction ground you are using.
Regardless of how long the tenant has lived in the property, you must give 28 days' notice if you are only using one or more of the following six eviction grounds, which are to do with the tenant’s behaviour:
- tenant is no longer occupying the let property
- tenant has breached a term(s) of tenancy agreement
- tenant is in rent arrears over three consecutive months on the date you apply to the Tribunal for an eviction order
- tenant has a relevant criminal conviction
- tenant has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
- tenant associates with a person who has a relevant conviction or has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
You must give 84 days' notice if they have lived in the property for more than six months, and you aren't relying solely on any of the six grounds listed above (so if you want to evict your tenant using any of the other twelve eviction grounds, which are not to do with the tenant’s behaviour).
Sending notice by recorded delivery, post or email
If you send your tenant the notice to leave by recorded delivery post or email, you must allow your tenant 48 hours to receive it. This delivery time should be added on to the amount of notice you give your tenant.
If you're required to give your tenant 28 days' notice and you send the notice to leave by recorded delivery post on 23 January, your tenant will be expected to receive the notice on 25 January.
The 28 days' notice period will start on 25 January and end on 21 February.
If your tenant chooses not to leave the let property as soon as his or her notice period has expired, the earliest date that you can submit an application to the Tribunal for an eviction order is 22 February.
Getting an eviction order
If you give your tenant a notice to leave and they don't move out as soon as the notice period ends, you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for an eviction order.
When you apply for an eviction order you must give the First-tier Tribunal a copy of the 'notice to leave' you gave the tenant, stating which of the grounds for eviction you gave them.
If you want to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to evict your tenant, you also have to tell the local council responsible for where the property is located — in case your tenant becomes homeless. This notice to the local council is called a Section 11 Notice, and the details which you must include in this are set out in regulations
If your tenant has a sub-tenant, the sub-tenant will be protected from eviction unless the tenant is evicted using certain grounds.
If you want to bring a sub-tenancy to an end, you have to give the sub-tenant a 'sub-tenancy notice to leave', which includes a copy of the 'notice to leave' you gave your tenant. You can use the Scottish Government’s Create a 'Subtenant Notice to Leave Tool' to create a Subtenant Notice to Leave which you can download and give to your subtenant.
You must give the sub-tenant 28 days' notice if they've lived in the property for six months or less, or 84 days' notice if they've lived there for more than six months.
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
Housing and Social Justice Directorate