Modern Limited Duration Tenancies and Limited Duration Tenancies require notices to be served in order to bring the tenancy to an end on the expiry date. If notices are not correctly served, the leases will continue in accordance with the provisions of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 (the "2003 Act").

It is therefore essential that parties who wish to terminate a Modern Limited Duration Tenancy or Limited Duration Tenancy serve valid notices in terms of the 2003 Act. Below we set out our top tips for correctly serving a notice to quit and ensuring that a lease ends as intended.

Tip 1 – Check the notice period required

It is crucial that you give sufficient notice to the other party in terms of the 2003 Act.

In order to terminate a Limited Duration Tenancy or a Modern Limited Duration Tenancy, the landlords needs to serve 2 notices:

  • The first notice, a written intimation, should be served not more than 3 years and not less than 2 years' prior to expiry;
  • The second notice, the notice to quit, should be served not more than 2 years and not less than 1 year prior to expiry.

There must be 90 days between service of the notices.

On the other hand, a tenant only needs to serve one notice to quit in order to terminate a Limited Duration Tenancy or a Modern Limited Duration Tenancy. It needs to be served not less than 1 year and not more than 2 years prior to the expiry date.

Tip 2 – Be sure you wish to bring the lease to an end

Before you serve a notice, you should be certain that bringing the lease to an end is your desired outcome. Once a notice has been correctly served, it is unable to be withdrawn unilaterally.

Tip 3 – Check for a notice provision

It is essential to check for any notice provision within the lease as this could have an important impact on the contents of a notice and the way it should be served.

Tip 4 – Make it clear

The purpose and effect of the written notice should be clear and explicit. It should be clear from reading the notice that your intention is to terminate the lease at the expiry date. Additionally, you should ensure that the content complies with any requirements set down by the notice provisions in the lease and the terms of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003.

Tip 5 – Check the Identity and Address of Who You Are Serving It On

To ensure a notice has its intended effect, it is important that it is received by the correct party. Checks must be carried out to ensure that you are serving the notice on the correct party and at the correct address. This will usually be on the landlord or tenant, but in some instances an alternative may be set out in the notice provisions within the lease. You should also ensure that the other party hasn't changed since the lease was entered into.

Tip 6 – Method of Service

It is likely that the way in which notice should be served will be set out by the notice provisions in the lease. Unfortunately, the 2003 Act omits to make provision for service of notices in relation to Limited Duration Tenancies or Modern Limited Duration Tenancies. We would however always recommend the use of recorded delivery or, if time is short, delivery by a Sheriff Officer.

Amongst ongoing economic uncertainty, serving a valid notice is important now more than ever to ensure that parties are not bound by terms which may no longer be favourable.

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