Ending a Short Assured Tenancy

A tenancy does not end just because it reaches the end date of the tenancy agreement (also known as the 'ish date'). If you or your tenant do not end the tenancy properly, it will automatically continue with the same conditions including the lease period. Thus if the initial period on the lease is 6 months, it will automatically continue for a further 6 months unless notice is given to end the lease. This automatic renewal is known as 'tacit relocation'. Tacit relocation can be avoided by inserting a clause in the lease to allow the tenancy to continue on a 'month to month' basis. It is important to set the wording on this carefully to make sure landlord and tenant understand what it means.

A tenancy can be ended in one of the following ways:

  • serving your tenant a Notice to Quit and a Section 33 Notice to end the tenancy at the end of the tenancy agreement
  • your tenant giving you written notice to end the tenancy at the end of the tenancy agreement
  • you and your tenant both agree to end the tenancy at any time
  • your tenant breaking a condition of the lease and you 'irritate' the lease by serving notices to end the tenancy and recover possession. 

Notice to Quit

A Notice to Quit is a paper document telling your tenant that their tenancy is going to end. If you are ending a Short Assured Tenancy, we recommend the Notice to Quit gives 2 months notice. This is because the forms you serve along with it, Section 33 notice and the Notice of Intention to Raise Proceedings (AT6), require 2 months' notice.

A Notice to Quit must include the following information:

  • The full name of the tenant(s)
  • The full address of the property
  • The date you want the tenancy to end
  • Your signature
  • The date you signed the notice

A Notice to Quit must also include the following three statements:

'Even after the Notice to Quit has run out, before the tenant can lawfully be evicted, the landlord must get an order for possession from the court'

'If a landlord issues a Notice to Quit but does not seek to gain possession of the house in question, the contractual assured tenancy which has been terminated will be replaced by a Statutory Assured Tenancy. In such circumstances, the landlord may propose new terms for the tenancy and may seek an adjustment in rent at annual intervals thereafter' 

'If a tenant does not know what kind of tenancy he/she has, or is otherwise unsure of their rights, they can obtain advice from a solicitor. Help with all or part of the cost of legal advice assistance may be available under the Legal Aid legislation. A tenant can also seek help from a Citizens Advice Bureau, or Housing Advisory Centre' 

If your tenant does not leave after you've given them a Notice to Quit you can give a Notice of Intention to Raise Proceedings (AT6). 

Section 33 notice

You must give your tenant 2 months notice that you want the property back at the end of the tenancy (also known as 'recovery of possession') - this is called a Section 33 notice. It is best practice to serve a Notice to Quit and a Section 33 notice at the same time. There is no formal requirement for what needs to be written in a Section 33 notice but you can download our sample Section 33 notice below.

Form AT6

A Notice of Intention to Raise Proceedings is a legal document and is also known as an AT6.

You must serve your tenant with an AT6 before you can take legal action to get your property back if your tenant doesn't leave at the end of the Notice to Quit.

Essential information on an AT6

You must include:

  • The full grounds listed in the Housing ( Scotland ) Act 1988 that you want to use to get your property back. You can list as many grounds as may apply.
  • The reasons why you are using these grounds.

If you are ending a Short Assured Tenancy, you should state 'this is a Short Assured Tenancy that has reached its end date', rather than using one of the 17 possible grounds.

AT6 notice periods

Depending on the grounds you use, you must give your tenant at least two weeks or two months notice of intention to raise court proceedings. The notice periods are laid down by statute.

If you want to use any of grounds 1, 2, 5, 6, 9 or 17, you must give two months notice. If you are using only the other grounds, you need to give two weeks notice.

If you are seeking to end a Short Assured Tenancy at its end date, you must give at least two months notice on an AT6 form.

The landlord has six months from the date on the AT6 form during which court proceedings for eviction can be started.