Abandoned tenancies

When we will serve a Notice of Abandonment

The power to repossess an abandoned tenancy is laid down in sections 17-21 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001. These provisions can only be used where the tenant does not intend to occupy their house as their principal home.

If we identify or are notified of a suspected abandonment of a tenancy, we will firstly check to see if we have received a termination notice, or if keys are expected to be returned to us. If this is not the case we will carry out a house visit immediately and, if we gain no access, leave a postcard to give the tenant the opportunity to contact the office. If we establish that the house has been abandoned we will serve the Notice of Abandonment.

If any contact from the tenant is received within the 28 days period stating that they intend to occupy the property, the tenant must confirm this in writing to the local area office. A house inspection will be carried out to verify tenants claims.

A final notice of repossession will be served and the locks changed if the tenant fails to respond or reoccupy their house within 28 days of the initial notice period. If a tenant returns and wishes to appeal against the termination of the tenancy by the Council, an appeal must be raised via the Sheriff Court within 6 months after the termination date.

Abandonment by Joint tenants

Section 20 of the above Act lays out the guidelines for instances where one member of a joint tenancy has abandoned the property. The procedures are basically the same as those detailed above.

A Notice of Believed Abandonment will be served on each tenant (including occupying tenants) and, having followed all procedures, if it is clear one party of the joint tenancy is no longer present then a final notice will be served on that absent tenant. This will advise that their interest in the tenancy will come to an end 8 weeks after serving this final notice.

If a joint tenant wishes to appeal against the termination of their interest, an appeal must be raised via the Sheriff Court within 8 weeks.

Please use the 'contact us' box if you have any questions or concerns. For more information see 'other useful websites'


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