Seeking possession of property

Seeking possession of property


The following provides a summary of the grounds for obtaining possession of a property let using a short assured tenancy agreement.

Difference between mandatory and discretionary grounds

The grounds for obtaining possession are divided between mandatory grounds, on which the Sheriff must grant a possession order requiring the tenant to vacate the property and discretionary grounds, where the Sheriff may grant a possession order if it is reasonable to do so depending on the facts.

If discretionary grounds are used, the Sheriff may also decide to allow the tenant to remain in the property provided that they meet certain conditions, such as paying the rent by instalments. In these circumstances no possession order will be granted and the case will usually be continued for payments to be monitored.

The following list provides a summary of the grounds listed in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988.

Grounds upon which a Sheriff must order possession:

Ground 1

Where the landlord previously occupied the property as his/her principal home and now requires the use of the property again.

Ground 2

The landlord has granted a mortgage over the property to a lender and that lender is now repossessing the property with a view to selling it.

Ground 3

The property was used as a holiday let within 12 months prior to the grant of the lease.

Ground 4

The property was let by an educational body to a student within 12 months prior to the grant of the lease.

Ground 5

The property is held for the purpose of being available for a minister or religious preacher and is now required for occupation by a minister or religious preacher.

Ground 6

Where the landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole, or a substantial part of the property.

Ground 7

The tenancy of the property has passed to the current tenant by virtue of the death of a former tenant. This ground can only be relied on where possession proceedings are begun within 12 months of the death of the former tenant.

Ground 8

Both at the date of service of the notice of proceedings for possession and at the hearing date, 3 months' rent is lawfully due by the tenant to the landlord.

Grounds upon which a Sheriff may order possession.

Ground 9

Suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant or will be available for him/her when the order for possession takes effect.

Ground 10

The tenant has remained in possession of the property after a notice to quit has expired and the tenant is not otherwise entitled to remain in possession of the property by virtue of a new tenancy.

Ground 11

Whether or not any rent is in arrears on the date on which proceedings for possession are begun, the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent which has become lawfully due.

Ground 12

Some rent lawfully due from the tenant is unpaid on the date on which proceedings for possession are begun.

Ground 13

Any obligation of the tenancy (other than one related to the payment of rent) has been broken or not performed.

Ground 14

The tenant has failed to look after the property and its condition has deteriorated.

Ground 15

The tenant has been convicted of using the property for an illegal or immoral purpose or has otherwise used it for anti-social behaviour.

Ground 16

The condition of any furniture provided for use under the tenancy has deteriorated owing to ill-treatment by the tenant or any other person residing or lodging with him/her in the property.

Ground 17

The property was let to the tenant in consequence of his employment by the landlord seeking possession or a previous landlord under the tenancy, and the tenant has ceased to be in that employment.