Ending the tenancy: notice to leave
This section contains information on what to do if you or your landlord wants to end the tenancy.
If you want to end the tenancy
You have to give your landlord at least 28 days' notice in writing if you want to end the tenancy (unless you ask for shorter notice and they agree in writing).
The notice period will begin on the day your landlord gets your notice, and ends 28 days after that date.
So if you send the notice to your landlord by post or email, you must allow your landlord 48 hours to receive it. This delivery time should be added on to the amount of notice you give your landlord.
If you send your landlord a notice to leave by recorded delivery post on 23 January, they will be expected to receive the notice on 25 January; the 28 days' notice period will start on 25 January and end on 22 February, so your tenancy and rent liability will end 22 February and you should move out on or before that date.
You cannot give notice before you move into the let property. Your notice has to be given 'freely and without coercion'. This means your landlord must not have pressured you into leaving. If your landlord tries to persuade or force you to leave without following the correct legal process then they could be carrying out an illegal eviction. This is a criminal offence in Scotland. An example of an illegal eviction by coercion could be carrying out work that makes it impossible for you to continue to stay in the property, e.g. removing the toilet or stopping the drinking water supply.
You and your landlord can agree a different notice period. But this must be in writing and can only be done once you have started to live in the let property. Your agreement to change the notice period must be given 'freely and without coercion'. If your landlord has inserted a longer notice period into your tenancy agreement before you started living in the let property, the notice period will be invalid and the 28-day notice period will apply.
If you give your landlord notice but then change your mind before it ends, you can ask them to continue the tenancy instead. It's up to your landlord 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 your landlord wants to end the tenancy
Your landlord can only end your tenancy by using one of the 18 grounds for eviction. When your landlord gives you notice to leave, they must tell you what eviction ground(s) they are using and may provide evidence to support this. They must use a specific notice called a ‘Notice to Leave’ to do this.
The amount of notice your landlord has to give you will depend on how long you've lived in the property and the grounds your landlord is using to evict you.
Your landlord must give you 28 days' notice if you have lived in the let property for six months or less, regardless of what eviction ground they are using.
Regardless of how long you have lived in the let property, your landlord must give 28 days' notice if they are using one or more of the following eviction grounds, which are to do with a 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 the landlord applies to the Tribunal for an eviction order
- tenant has a relevant criminal conviction
- tenant has engaged in relevant anti-social behaviour
- tenant associates with a person who has a relevant conviction or has engaged in relevant anti-social behaviour.
Your landlord must give you 84 days' notice if you have lived in the let property for more than six months and they aren't only relying on one of the six grounds above (so if they want to evict you using any of the other twelve eviction grounds, which are not to do with the tenant’s behaviour).
The notice period will begin 48 hours after the notice was sent. So if your landlord sends you the notice to leave by post or email, they must allow you 48 hours to receive it. This delivery time should be added on to the amount of notice your landlord gives you.
If your landlord gives you a notice to leave and you don't move out as soon as the notice period ends, they can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for an eviction order.
When your landlord applies for an eviction order they must give the First-tier Tribunal a copy of the 'notice to leave' they gave you, stating which of the grounds for eviction they gave you.
Your landlord can only make an application for an eviction order if it's been less than six months since the notice they gave you expired.
If you are a sub-tenant, you will be protected from eviction unless your landlord is being evicted using certain grounds.
If the Head Landlord wants to bring a sub-tenancy to an end, they have to give you a 'sub-tenancy notice to leave', which includes a copy of the notice they gave your landlord/head tenant.
The Head Landlord must give you 28 days' notice if you've lived in the property for six months or less, or 84 days' notice if you've lived there for more than six months.
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
Housing and Social Justice Directorate