Private residential tenancy: information for tenants
Guidance for private sector tenants on the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016.
Grounds for eviction
There are 18 different grounds (reasons) for eviction. If your landlord wants you to leave the property at least one of these grounds must apply
If you refuse to leave your landlord can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for an eviction order under these grounds.
All eviction grounds are discretionary. This means that the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) can use their discretion and take all circumstances into account when deciding whether or not it is reasonable to grant an order for eviction.
Landlord intends to sell the let property
This ground applies if your landlord plans on putting the property up for sale within three months of you moving out.
They'll need evidence to prove it – this could include a letter from a solicitor or an estate agent, or a recent home report for the property.
Let property to be sold by lender
This ground applies if your landlord's mortgage lender wants to repossess the property and sell it.
Landlord intends to refurbish the let property
This ground applies if your landlord wants to carry out major works to the let property that are so disruptive you wouldn't be able to live there at the same time.
Example of evidence could include planning permission, or a contract between your landlord and an architect or a builder for the work to be carried out.
Landlord intends to live in the let property
This ground applies if your landlord wants you to move out of the property so they can move in.
Evidence could include an affidavit (a written statement, signed under oath in the presence of a Notary Public or a Justice of the Peace, that can be used as evidence at the Tribunal) saying this is what they are going to do.
Landlord intends to use the let property for non-residential purpose
This ground applies if your landlord wants you to move out so they can use the property for something other than a home.
Evidence could include planning permission that will let them use the property for a different purpose.
Let property required for religious worker
This ground applies if the property is held to be available for someone who has a religious job (like a priest, nun, monk, imam, lay missionary, minister, rabbi or something similar).
The ground only works if the property has been used for this purpose before.
Tenant has a relevant criminal conviction
This ground applies if you're convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment that involved you either:
- using the property for illegal reasons
- letting someone use the property for illegal reasons
- committing a crime within or near the property
Your landlord has to apply to the Tribunal within a year of you being convicted, unless they have a reasonable excuse for not applying before then.
Tenant is no longer occupying the let property
This ground applies if the property isn't being used as your main or only home.
This doesn't count if your landlord failed their duty to keep the property in good repair and you had to move out for your own safety.
The next eight grounds for eviction are '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.
Landlord's family member intends to live in the let property
This ground applies if a member of your landlord's family plans to move into the property as their only or main home for at least three months.
Members of your landlord's family who qualify for this are:
- their spouse
- their civil partner
- someone living with them as though they were married to them
- a parent or grandparent
- a child or grandchild
- a brother or sister
- step or half relatives (like a stepson or half-sister)
- a person being treated as someone's child even if they aren't related biologically or legally
- any family member (as listed above) of your landlord's spouse, civil partner or person living with them as though they were married
- the spouse or civil partner of any family members listed above, or someone living with them as though they were married
Your landlord will need evidence for this ground. This could include an affidavit stating that this is what their family member intends to do.
Tenant no longer needs supported accommodation
This ground applies if you moved into the property because you had a need for community care and you've since been assessed as no longer having that need.
Tenant has breached a term of the tenancy agreement
This ground applies if you haven't complied with one of the terms of tenancy.
This doesn't apply to cases where you haven't paid your rent (known as 'rent arrears') – there's a separate ground for this.
Tenant has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
This ground applies if you've behaved in an antisocial way to another person, by doing something which either:
- causes them alarm or distress
- is a nuisance or annoyance
- is considered harassment
The First-tier Tribunal will consider the behaviour, who it involved and where it occurred to decide whether to issue an eviction order.
To use this ground, your landlord has to apply to the Tribunal within a year of the behaviour taking place, unless they have a reasonable excuse.
Tenant has associated in the let property with someone who has a criminal conviction or is antisocial
This ground applies if you allow someone into the property and they behave in an antisocial way that would have them evicted if they were the tenant.
This person could be:
- a sub-tenant
- your lodger
- someone you let into the property on more than one occasion
To use this ground, your landlord has to apply to the Tribunal within a year of the conviction or behaviour taking place, unless they have a reasonable excuse.
Landlord has had their registration refused or revoked
This ground applies if your landlord isn't registered as a landlord in the local council area where the property is located.
This could be because the local council has either:
- refused to enter them in the register
- removed them from the register
Landlord's HMO licence has been revoked
This ground applies if the HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) licence for the property has been removed and keeping all the tenants in the property would no longer be legal.
An overcrowding statutory notice has been served on the landlord
This ground applies if an 'overcrowding statutory notice' has been served on your landlord because the property is overcrowded to the extent that it may affect the health of the people living there.
Grounds which could be mandatory or discretionary
The final two grounds can be either mandatory or discretionary, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Tenant is in rent arrears over three consecutive months
This ground applies if you've been in 'rent arrears' (owed rent payments) for three or more months in a row. In deciding whether it is reasonable to evict, the Tribunal will consider whether you being in arrears is due to a delay or failure in the payment of a relevant benefit and take into account your landlord’s compliance with pre-action requirements for rent arrears.
Tenant has stopped being — or has failed to become — an employee
This ground applies if your landlord let you move in because you were their employee (or were going to be one), and now you aren't.
Protection from wrongful termination
If your tenancy has ended and you think you were misled into leaving, you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a 'wrongful termination order'.
The Tribunal may make a wrongful termination order if it decides that your landlord:
- misled the Tribunal into issuing an eviction order it shouldn't have
- wrongly made you leave the property
If your landlord gets a wrongful termination order, they'll be told to pay you compensation of up to six months' rent.
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