Law guide: Landlords

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Overview - Recovering possession in Scotland

Overview - Recovering possession in Scotland

This guidance is for tenancies let as private residential tenancies, assured tenancies and short assured tenancies. For types of tenancy see Types of tenancy (Scotland).

Private residential tenancies

A private residential tenancy is open ended, so you can only end the tenancy by using one of the 18 grounds for eviction. If you decide to end the tenancy, you must serve a formal statutory notice – a 'Notice to Leave'. This must detail the eviction ground(s), why each ground applies and the date that the tenancy is to end.

You should provide the tenant with a copy of any supporting evidence for the eviction ground when they serve the Notice to Leave on the tenant.

A Notice to Quit is not required for a private residential tenancy.

For the procedure to recover possession for a private residential tenancy see Recovering possession of a private residential tenancy

Short assured tenancies

There are two ways that a landlord can seek to regain possession of the property on a short assured tenancy.

1. If the short assured tenancy has reached (or is approaching) the agreed termination date, you can serve a notice under section 33 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 as well as a notice to quit – see Tenancy approaching termination date. A minimum of 2 months' notice is required in advance of the date the tenancy is due to end. This is an automatic ground for possession commonly referred to as the 'no fault ground'. As such you are strongly recommended to use this procedure for ending a short assured tenancy which has reached (or is approaching) the agreed termination date.

2. You can regain possession of the property at any time but this will not be an automatic right and you will have to prove why you want your property back, based on one or more of 17 different statutory grounds under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. Notice to quit and an AT6 form – Notice of Intention to raise Proceedings are required.

Rent arrears is the most commonly used statutory ground. The procedure to regain possession, however, is the same whether you're relying on rent arrears or any of the other grounds.

For the rent arrears possession procedure, see Recovering possession on s18 grounds.

Whichever way you seek possession, you must first serve legal notices on the tenant to give them notice of the intended date to regain possession; you must do this before you can apply to the Tribunal for an order for possession.

Assured tenancies

For an assured tenancy, the tenant has security of tenure; you don't have an automatic right to regain possession of the property when the tenancy ends and you will have to prove why you want your property back, based on one or more of the 17 different statutory grounds under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. The process is started by giving the tenant a notice to quit.

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