What is an Irritancy Notice?

Legal jargon and procedures around property management and lease agreements might be intimidating at first. The “Irritancy Notice” is an example of one such phrase. Landlords and tenants alike would be well advised to read this notice carefully and familiarise themselves with its contents because of the potential impact it may have on the tenancy. In this article, we’ll explain what an Irritancy Notice is, why it’s important, and how to deal with it.

Irritancy is a powerful legal tool that allows commercial landlords in Scotland to end a lease early if the tenant breaks the terms of the lease. Once a landlord has correctly exercised their right to irritancy, the tenant has no right to stay in the property, and the landlord does not have to pay the tenant any compensation. This is why irritancy is often described as “the most draconian remedy available to a landlord”.

In simpler terms, irritancy is a way for a landlord to kick out a tenant who is not following the rules of the lease. It is a very strong power, and landlords should only use it as a last resort.

In this blog post, we will dig deeper into understanding a pre-irritancy notice, learning more about the irritancy clause and more.

Understanding Irritancy Notice

In the event of a breach of the tenancy agreement, the landlord may serve the tenant with a legal document known as an Irritancy Notice or Notice to Quit. The tenant is on notice that they have broken the conditions of their lease or rental agreement and that the landlord may terminate their tenancy if the problems are not fixed within a certain time frame.

Grounds for Issuing an Irritancy Notice

There are several common reasons why a landlord might issue an Irritancy Notice.

Non-payment of Rent

If a tenant consistently failed to pay rent on time or neglects to pay it altogether, the landlord has the right to issue an Irritancy Notice.

Property Damage

Excessive damage to the property that goes beyond normal wear and tear can be grounds for an Irritancy Notice. This includes intentional or negligent destruction of the premises.

Violation of Lease Terms

Any breach of the terms and conditions outlined in the lease agreement, such as unauthorised subletting or keeping pets when explicitly prohibited, can lead to an Irritancy Notice.

Nuisance or Disturbance

Frequent and disruptive behaviour by a tenant that disturbs neighbours or breaches the peace is grounds for an Irritancy Notice.

Illegal Activities

Engaging in illegal activities on the rented premises, such as drug-related offences, can lead to the issuance of an Irritancy Notice.

Rights and Responsibilities of the Tenant

As a tenant, it’s crucial to be aware of your rights and responsibilities when faced with an Irritancy Notice:

Prompt Response

Upon receiving an Irritancy Notice, it’s important to address the issues outlined in the notice promptly. Communicate with your landlord and take the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

Seek Legal Advice

If you believe the notice has been issued unjustly, seek specialist legal advice. An attorney from SGT Law Firm can help you understand your rights and guide you.

Rectify the Breach

If the notice is justified, take immediate action to rectify the breach. This may involve paying outstanding rent, repairing damages, or resolving any other issues mentioned in the notice.

Document Everything

Keep thorough records of all communication with your landlord and any steps taken to rectify the situation. This documentation may be valuable if the situation escalates.


The Irritancy Notice is an essential legal document in the landlord-tenant relationship, designed to secure the rights and interests of both parties. It is essential, as a landlord, to issue this notice with discretion and ensure that valid reasons support it. Understanding your responsibilities and rights as a tenant when confronted with an Irritancy Notice is essential for achieving a just resolution. By being knowledgeable and proactive, landlords and tenants can navigate this process effectively, resulting in a more harmonious and legally compliant tenancy agreement.

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