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Sequestration for rent and the landlord's hypothec

Under common law, landlords have a right in security over certain moveable property situated on land or in buildings that they have let. This security is known as the landlord's hypothec and has previously secured 1 years rent due by the tenant.

Until commencement of section 208 of the 2007 Act, the landlord's hypothec could be enforced by an action known as sequestration for rent. An action granted for sequestration for rent allowed the attachment of goods secured by the hypothec and permitted the landlord to obtain warrant to sell those goods.

From 1 April 2008, sequestration for rent is abolished.

The landlord's hypothec is preserved but is subject to changes from 1 April 2008.

Changes include:

  • The landlord's hypothec no longer applies to articles kept in a dwelling house (including mobile homes or any building or structure used in connection with the dwelling house) or on a croft or agricultural land.
  • The hypothec no longer applies to property kept in the leased premises but owned by someone other than the debtor.
  • Property acquired from the debtor by a third party in good faith is not subject to the hypothec.
  • The hypothec is security only for rent due but unpaid and subsists for as long as that rent remains unpaid. It is not limited to 1 years rent.