The eviction moratorium
On 6 September 2022 the Scottish government introduced a moratorium (ie a pause) on the enforcement of evictions in Scotland in response to the cost of living crisis. This means that many types of eviction cannot go ahead. Landlords can still serve eviction notices and, if tenants don’t leave, take their case to the Tribunal as usual. However, if they’re successful in obtaining an eviction order, the order cannot be enforced by sheriff officers until 6 months has passed or the moratorium has ended.
The moratorium only applies to certain types of eviction. You may be able to evict tenants if you need to sell or live in your property due to financial hardship, or if the tenants are in significant rent arrears. For more information, read the Scottish government’s guidance.
The moratorium has been extended and is to last until at least 30 September 2023. The government may extend it for another 6 months after this date.
Is there a standard procedure for evicting private tenants in Scotland?
The type of procedure will depend on the type of tenant. On 1 December 2017, the law covering residential tenancies in Scotland changed. A new type of tenancy called a private residential tenancy was introduced, replacing assured and short assured tenancies. Any tenancy started on or after 1 December 2017 is a private residential tenancy.
If you have an assured or short assured tenant whose tenancy began before 1 December 2017, they’ll not be covered by the new rules. Instead, you should follow the appropriate eviction procedure for assured or short assured tenancies.
How do I evict a private residential tenancy tenant?
Landlords can only evict tenants by using one of the 18 grounds for eviction. You must give the tenant a written notice called a 'notice to leave'. This notice must provide the date on which the tenant must move out and the eviction ground that applies.
How much notice do I have to give a private residential tenancy tenant?
The amount of notice depends on how long the tenant has lived in the property and the reason for the eviction.
If they’ve been in the property for under 6 months, landlords must give 28 days’ notice, regardless of the eviction ground.
If the tenant has lived there for over 6 months and you’re not using a conduct ground for eviction (regarding the tenant’s behaviour), you must provide 84 days’ notice. If they’ve lived there for over six months and you’re relying on a conduct ground, it’s 28 days’ notice.
What if my tenant refuses to leave?
If a tenant hasn't moved out by the end of the notice period, landlords can apply to the First-Tier Tribunal for an eviction notice. The application to the Tribunal must include a copy of the notice to leave, and you must also send a section 11 notice to the local authority informing it that you plan to evict your tenant.
How do I evict an assured tenant?
You must serve the tenant a notice to quit and a notice of proceedings, and send a section 11 notice to the local council. The length of notice depends on the terms of the lease and the length of the tenancy but must be at least 28 days. Landlords must then apply to the First-Tier Tribunal for an eviction order.
How do I evict a short assured tenant?
If the tenancy is for a fixed period and you want to evict the tenant before this ends, you can only do so if the tenant has seriously broken a condition of the Tenancy agreement.
Landlords who want their tenants to move out at the end of the tenancy agreement need to give them a notice to quit and 2 months’ notice, known as a section 33 notice.