Tenant Information

Ending Your Tenancy

There are several ways your tenancy could come to an end:

Termination by Tenant

If you would like to end your tenancy, you and any joint tenant must give us at least 28 days notice.  You should provide the termination details in a letter, signed by all tenants, to Housing Service, 8 North Ness Business Park, Lerwick.  We will confirm your termination date to you and that will be the date the keys to the property will be expected to be returned.  If this date has to be changed, you must advise us of this as an extension is only granted in exceptional circumstances.

Court Order

If you do not to keep to the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement, the Council may take court action against you.  

This could result in you being evicted from your home.  

The most common reasons for this to happen are;

  • if you fail to pay your rent
  • if you or someone in your house is causing a nuisance to neighbours
  • if you are carrying out any illegal activities within the house or
  • if you gave false information when you applied for the house

If you are having problems paying your rent, the Recovery Section will write to you and are happy to give advice.  They will agree realistic and affordable arrangements so you pay off any arrears.

Rent Arrears and Advice

If the Housing Service believes that you are not complying with the terms of your tenancy for some other reason, we will try to resolve the problem before taking any legal proceedings against you.

Abandoned Tenancy

If you are not living in your home and the property is empty, we may serve a notice for repossession of the property.  We will make every effort to find out where you are and give you four weeks notice stating that we believe you have abandoned the property.  If we have not heard from you we will repossess by serving another notice.

We can also take action to bring to an end a joint tenant’s interest in a tenancy where we believe the joint tenant has abandoned the tenancy.  If this happens and you are the main tenant who has not abandoned the property, this procedure will not affect your rights to remain.

You should always tell the Housing Service if you intend to leave your home for more than two months so that we know you have not abandoned the property.

Changing a Joint Tenancy to a Sole Tenancy

If you want to end your joint tenancy, you must give four weeks written notice to us and to every joint tenant.  This will not end the tenancy of the other joint tenant/s.   You can give us notice by filling in a joint tenancy termination form.  You should pay any outstanding debts or arrears before you leave the property.  If a joint tenant moves out of the house without giving notice they remain on the tenancy until formal notice is given and SIC Housing have ended their part of the tenancy.  


When a tenant dies, any person living in the house may be able to succeed to the tenancy as long as it was their only or principal home at the date of death.

From 1 November 2019, qualified persons including cohabitants, members of the deceased tenant’s family over 16, and carers above the age of 16 who have lived in the property as their own or principal home, can only succeed the tenancy if notification has been provided to the landlord that they are residing in the property 12 months prior to the date of death.  

Notification of household information should be provided to SIC Housing Service.  This can be done online or by email or sending written information to the Housing Service, 8 North Ness Business Park, Lerwick.   

Tenant Contact Form

When there are several qualifying persons, and/or a qualified person advises that they do not wish to succeed the tenancy, SIC Housing will need to apply the rules about the order of succession rights.   

We require the person who wishes to succeed to the tenancy to apply for permission to do so.  You should notify your Housing Officer in writing of this request as soon as possible.  

Conversion to a Short Scottish Secure Tenancy

We can end your Scottish Secure Tenancy (SST) and convert it into a Short Scottish Secure Tenancy (SSST).  The short tenancy is essentially a version of the Scottish Secure Tenancy with limited security of the tenancy - 

The circumstances where a short Scottish secure tenancy can be used are:

  • For tenants who have been previously evicted for anti-social behaviour
  • Those living in temporary accommodation
  • Where the accommodation is not owned by us and the terms of the lease stop the property being let as a SST.
  • Where an anti-social behaviour order has been granted against the prospective tenant or any person who is going to live with them.


Your Responsibilities when Ending a Tenancy

It is your responsibility to ensure that your home and garden (if applicable) are left clear of any rubbish and in good condition as stated in your tenancy agreement and below.  You will be re-charged for any damage to the property, for any work needed to bring the property up to the following standard and for the removal of any items left behind. You may leave items in the property if there is an agreement with an incoming tenant, and the Housing Service has been notified of this. 

You are responsible for telling your suppliers that your tenancy is ending, for example the electricity company or broadband provider, and for redirection of your mail.  

Generally these requirements are:

  • The house should be thoroughly cleaned and left in good decorative order.  
  • Any repairs that you are responsible for should be completed.  
  • Gardens should be cleared of all rubbish and the grass cut
  • The property is left according to the current letting standard, as below. 

Letting Standard  

Where a tenancy is ended as the result of a death and where there is no qualifying person to succeed the tenancy.  It is expected that keys are returned within 14 days.