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Ending an assured/short assured tenancy

The way in which the tenancy was originally set up will influence the process to be followed. Landlords may wish to seek independent legal advice in relation to terminating private rented tenancies.

Short Assured Tenancies at the end of a contractual period

Section 33 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 outlines the provisions for recovering possession of Short Assured Tenancies at the end of a contractual period.

Landlords are required to issue a Notice to Quit and to give notice of at least two months. There is no prescribed legal format for either of these notices and they can be combined into one document providing the document includes the following;

  • It must be in writing
  • It must provide at least 2 months notice
  • The end of the notice period must coincide with a termination or 'ish' date
  • It must state that the landlord requires possession of the property
  • It must state that when the notice runs out, the landlord still has to get an order from the court before the tenant has to leave
  • It must include information about where the tenant can get advice

The icon Notice to Quit template [14Kb] is still acceptable but this is not a prescribed legal format so landlords do not need to use this template. You may find the icon Notice to Quit Guide [27Kb] useful.

Short Assured Tenancies - Breach of Tenancy

If a tenant with a Short Assured Tenancy breaches any of the conditions of the agreement, the landlord may initiate proceedings to recover possession of the property at any time.

The process for this type of action is the same as for Assured Tenancies as outlined below.

Assured Tenancies

Where a tenancy is not a Short Assured Tenancy, the entitlement to recover possession at the end of a contractual period does not apply. The landlord can only raise proceedings to recover possession if one of the 17 Grounds for Repossession apply.

Landlords are required to issue a Notice to Quit and a Notice of Intention to Raise Proceedings called an icon AT6 form [27Kb].  In order to be valid, the Notice to Quit must comply with the following;

  • It must be in writing even if the tenant does not have a written tenancy agreement
  • It must state the length of the notice period
  • It must state that when the notice runs out, the landlord still has to get an order from the court before the tenant has to leave
  • It must include information about where the tenant can get advice

The AT6 form must be in the prescribed legal format and should be issued in accordance with the icon AT6 notes [40Kb].

Abandonment

To recover the property legally, the tenancy must be formally ended. As the landlord, you can raise an action to end the tenancy on the basis that the tenant has breached the agreement by failing to live in the property. Sheriff Officers will serve the relevant Notices at the tenancy address and a Sheriff would be able to grant an Order for recovery of possession. Once this order has been granted, the landlord is entitled to enter the property and change the locks.

If you know where the former tenant is, you should try to contact them and give them reasonable time to collect their belongings. If you don't know where the former tenant is, you should report the items to the police. If the value of the items is less than the storage costs, you can dispose of the items. It is advisable to record details of the items on an inventory and to photograph the items. If you want to sell the items to offset any rent arrears or damage, you need to get a court order.

The advisory content on this site is not a substitute for legal advice. The model tenancy agreement and statutory forms shown are for information purposes only.