Tenancy of Shops Act in Scotland

By Robin Mitchell

Unlike the position in England, in Scotland there is virtually no statutory protection for a commercial tenant at the expiry of their lease. Provided sufficient notice has been given by their landlord, the lease will come to an end on the expiry date and, unless a deal can be struck with the landlord, the tenant is required to leave the property on or prior to that date.

The one exception comes in the form of the Tenancy of Shops (Scotland) Act 1949, which was brought in to protect the livelihood of post-war small shopkeepers in the face of an increasing number of evictions from unscrupulous property investors.

It allows a shop tenant to apply to the court for a renewal of their lease for a period of up to one year following their receipt of a notice to quit from their landlord. The court can then provide for a renewal of the lease for a period up to one year, and at a rent and on other conditions as the sheriff considers reasonable…

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