Evicting lodgers in Scotland

If you share facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom with your lodger then they are known as a common law tenant. Read this guide to find out how to evict them if you would like them to vacate your property. 

Common law tenants have fewer rights than assured tenants or Scottish secure tenants. Common law tenancy agreements can be either in writing or verbal. But you will still need a court order to evict them if they do not leave your property after being asked. 

Your common law tenant will have “exclusive possession” of part of the property (for example, they will have their own bedroom). Exclusive possession means that you are not entitled to enter their room without their permission. 

You will need to serve a notice to quit and this should be in writing. It will usually have to give the tenant four weeks to move out.  

During the fixed term

  • At any time - if you have a written agreement (for example, a lodger agreement) it may allow you to serve notice at any time. It must be least four weeks’ notice. 

  • When the common law tenant has broken a condition of the agreement - if there is nothing else in the agreement, you can only evict a tenant during the fixed term if they have broken a term

  • At the end of the tenancy - you can ask them to leave at the end of the fixed term. 

    • It the fixed period is less than a year you must give at least four weeks’ notice 

    • if the fixed term is more than a year, you must give at least 40 days’ notice

Note that if you don’t give your common law tenant notice at the end of the fixed period, it will renew itself for the same duration.

If you do not serve your lodger the correct notice or harass them to move out, then this will be considered a criminal offence. Forcing a lodger to leave their home is considered illegal eviction. 

If a common law tenant doesn’t leave at the end of the notice period, you can apply for an order from the sheriff court to get them to leave.  If the tenancy if coming to an end and you have given the correct notice, or if you can prove they have broken a condition of the agreement, you will be given an automatic order.