Most tenancies are brought to an end through mutual agreement If a tenant is reluctant to leave, the correct legal procedures must be followed:
The correct notices must be served as well as an order of the Court before possession of a property can be recovered and a tenant evicted.
Eviction can only be by using certain grounds.
- Mandatory grounds
- Discretionary grounds.
If a mandatory ground is used, the Sheriff must order possession but if a discretionary ground is used it is up to the Sheriff to decide if it is reasonable to order possession or not.
Once the ground for eviction is decided the following notices must be served.
- Notice to Quit (PDF) (1 page) (also see Notice to Quit Guidance Notes (PDF), (2 pages)
- AT6 (3 pages) (also see AT6 Guidance Notes, (4 pages)
It is important to remember that a notice to quit terminates the contractual tenancy but does not end the tenant’s right to occupy the property. In order to end your tenants right to occupy you must serve an AT6 and obtain a court order. The length of notice required in the AT6 depends on the grounds being used for eviction.
Court proceedings must be started within 6 months of the expiry of the AT6 or it will cease to be valid.
If you are going to end a short assured tenancy during the fixed period then you should follow the same process as for an assured tenancy. However, if you are ending the tenancy because the fixed period has come to an end then you must follow the process below.
- Serve a Notice to Quit giving at least two months’ notice. A longer notice period may be required if stated on the tenancy agreement.
- Serve a Section 33 Notice giving at least two months’ notice.
- Serve a notice of intention to raise proceedings for repossession. Normally an AT6 (PDF) is used for this although you may use another format if you wish. Again this notice must give at least two months notice.
Notifying the Council (Section 11 notices)
From 1 April 2009, it is a legal requirement for a landlord to notify the Council of an eviction action. You must tell us at the time of lodging the case in court. A case can be lodged in court after you had served the appropriate notices and they had expired without the tenant moving out. If you reach this point and intend to take court action to recover the property you must make sure that you tell us.
Telling us that you intend to take eviction action gives us early notice of potential homelessness. This allow us to respond on an individual basis and possibly prevent homelessness occurring. This might include providing advice and information to tenants or facing eviction, including details of rights and responsibilities.
Where a Decree of eviction has been granted a Charge must be served upon a tenant before an eviction can take place. The Charge must provide the tenant with a period of at least 14 days in which to remove from the property prior to the eviction being carried out by Sheriff Officers. A Sheriff Officer will only be able to carry out an eviction upon the expiry of a 14 day period. Additionally, on the day the eviction is carried out, Sheriff Officers are required to make an inventory of all items of property which are removed from the tenancy address on that day.
We strongly recommend that you get independent legal advice.
Housing and Property