Publication - Advice and guidance

Private residential tenancy: information for landlords

Published: 26 Apr 2017

Guidance for private sector landlords on the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016.

Private residential tenancy: information for landlords
Ending the tenancy: notice to leave

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.

Notice needed

The amount of notice you must give your tenant during the COVID-19 emergency procedures will depend on the eviction ground used. The notice period will either be 6 months, 3 months or 28 days. Details of the amount of notice that you must give your tenant for each ground are detailed below:  

Grounds that require 6 months’ notice

  • Your Landlord intends to sell the Let Property
  • The Let Property is to be sold by the mortgage lender
  • Your Landlord intends to refurbish the Let Property
  • Your Landlord intends to use the Let Property for a non-residential purpose
  • The Let Property is required for a religious purpose
  • You cease to be - or fail to become - an employee of the Landlord
  • You no longer need supported accommodation
  • You have breached a term(s) of your tenancy agreement
  • You are in rent arrears over three consecutive months
  • An Overcrowding Statutory Notice has been served on your Landlord

Grounds that require 3 months’ notice

  • Your Landlord intends to live in the Let Property
  • Your Landlord’s family member intends to live in the Let Property
  • Your Landlord has had their registration refused or revoked
  • Your Landlord’s HMO licence has been revoked or renewal has been refused

Ground that requires 28 days’ notice

  • You have a relevant criminal conviction
  • You have engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
  • You have associated in the Let Property with someone who has a relevant criminal conviction or has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
  • You are no longer occupying the Let Property

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.

Example case

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.

You can only make an application for an eviction order if it's been no more than six months since the notice you gave your tenant expired.

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

Sub-tenants

If your tenant has a sub-tenant, the sub-tenant will be protected from eviction unless the tenant is evicted using certain grounds.

A sub-tenant is someone who is legally renting your property from your tenant.
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.

The amount of notice you must give your Subtenant will depend on the eviction ground used. The notice period will be either 6 months’ or 3 months’ and are shown below:

Grounds that require 6 months’ notice

  • Landlord intends to sell the Let Property
  • The Let Property is to be sold by the mortgage lender
  • Landlord intends to refurbish the Let Property
  • Landlord intends to use the Let Property for a non-residential purpose
  • The Let Property is required for a religious purpose
  • Tenant ceases to be - or fails to become - an employee
  • Tenant no longer needs supported accommodation
  • An Overcrowding statutory notice has been served on the Landlord

Grounds that require 3 months’ notice

  • Landlord intends to live in the Let Property
  • Landlord’s family member intends to live in the Let Property
  • Landlord has had their registration refused or revoked
  • Landlord’s HMO licence has been revoked or renewal has been refused

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