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Ending a tenancy

A private residential tenancy can only be ended by the tenant giving you notice and leaving or the tenant agreeing to leave. If neither of these happens and you are wanting possession of the property you will have to get an eviction order from the Housing and Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal.

The tenant wants to leave

If your tenants want to move out of the property, then they must let you know in advance that they wish to end their tenancy. The amount of notice a tenant needs to give you if they want to leave the property is 28 days.

You want the tenant to leave

There are 18 grounds that can be used to evict a tenant from the property. You will need to give your tenant either 28 or 84 days notice that you intend to apply for an eviction notice. The period of notice will depend on how long the tenant has been in the property and which ground you are applying for eviction. The form you need to use is called a ‘notice to leave’. If the tenant is still in the property after the notice period is over, you will then have to apply to the Housing and Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal for an eviction order. In your application to the tribunal, you will have to include copies of:
  • The notice to leave you gave to the tenants
  • Section 11 notice sent to the council informing them that you are taking possession action
For more information visit Housing and Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal.

What is a section 11 notice?

A section 11 notice is to lets a council know that an individual, or household, is at risk of becoming homeless. Once a council know about the eviction action they can try to intervene to see if the eviction can be halted, through mediation or other means. The notice also gives the council time to discuss alternative housing options with the tenant. The Scottish Government has more information on section 11 notices.

Arranging access for viewings

Regardless of which side wants to end the tenancy, you will probably want to show potential new tenants around the property. You will need to give your current tenants reasonable notice of any viewings, at least 24 hours, and your tenants can refuse access if the times are not suitable for them.

Checking out and checking the inventory

When it comes to the move out day, dig out the inventory and speak to your tenants about your checkout process (what time you expect them to leave, who will be there for example), and try and be at the property when any inspection takes place so any issues can be raised and answered there and then. Check all items off the inventory and note anything that is missing or damaged. Make sure you get all the keys back. Even though it may be the responsibility of the tenants, it is always a good idea to take meter readings, to pass on to suppliers. It is also a good idea to ask for proof that any final bill has been paid by the tenants. Also inform your council of the date that the tenants moved out and inform them of any forwarding address.

Returning the deposit

At the end of the tenancy, you will have to apply to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for the repayment of the tenant’s deposit. The application will need to include details of any deductions and the amount of the deposit to be returned to the tenants. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will contact the tenants to see if they agree with the amount of deposit that is to be returned. If they do agree then they will receive the agreed amount within five working days. Check the page on rent and deposits for more information .

Assured and short assured tenancies

If your tenants are assured or short assured tenants then you must follow a different process to end the tenancy to the one used for private residential tenancies.

The tenant wants to leave

If your tenant want to move out of the property, they must let you know in advance that they wish to end their tenancy. This is called notice.  The amount of notice a tenant needs to give should be noted in the tenancy agreement. Usually the tenant will have to give one or two months’ notice that they want to leave. Check your tenancy agreement and find out more about different notice periods.

You want the tenant to move out.

There are a few reasons why as a landlord you would want to bring a tenancy to an end:
  • To get possession of the property back from the tenants at the end of the tenancy
  • The tenants have broken a term of the lease (such as not paying rent) and you want the property back.
These require you to serve the correct notices at the correct time in order to follow the correct procedures, and you might need to go to First tier Tribunal to complete the process. To bring a short assured tenancy to an end the these requirements will have to have been met:
  • The tenancy has reached it’s ‘ish’ (end) date.
  • You have served a Notice to Quit to bring the tenancy to an end and tacit relocation is not operating.
  • There is no ongoing tenancy.
  • You have served an additional notice (s33 notice) stating that you require the property back.
  • You’ve sent a Section 11 notice to the local council to inform them that you might be taking repossession action.
If the tenant doesn’t move out of the property your next move is to apply to the First tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber for an eviction order. To bring an assured tenancy to an end you must follow this process:
  • serve the tenant with a notice to quit.
  • serve the tenant with a notice of proceedings (AT6 form).
  • send a Section 11 notice to the local council to inform them that you might be taking repossession action.
If the tenant doesn’t move out you will have to apply to the First tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber for an eviction order. Rent and Deposits Eviction grounds

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