in the Scots law of property, the termination of a lease as a result of certain failures on the part of the tenant. Irritancies are either legal or conventional. Legal irritancies are either statutory, like that provided in the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1949, or at common law, like the failure to pay rent for two years. Legal irritancies may be purged (satisfied) by complying with the term before a decree is extracted. Conventional irritancies cover matters such as non-payment of rent or prohibition of subletting. The common law was that a conventional irritancy could not be purged and a failure by some eleven days to pay rent in a commercial lease could not be escaped: Dorchester Studios v. Stone, 1975 SC (HL) 56. However, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1986 provides that even after a conventional irritancy has been committed, it may be enforced only after 14 days' written notice has been given. Other provisions may be enforced only if a fair and reasonable landlord would do so. Where an irritancy does take effect it is not an unjustified enrichment for the landlord to reap the gain of the value of the subjects when recovered: Dollar Land (Cumbernauld) Ltd v . CIN Properties Ltd [1998] TLR 523.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

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